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By H. C. CAEEY, 


A. HART, late CAREY & HART, 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of 


Printed by T. K & P. G. Collins. 

C A.1YS 


The subject discussed in the following pages is one of 
great importance, and especially so to the people of this 
country. The views presented for consideration differ widely 
from those generally entertained, both as regards the cause 
of evil and the mode of cure ; but it does not follow neces- 
sarily that they are not correct, — as the reader may readily 
satisfy himself by reflecting upon the fact, that there is 
scarcely an opinion he now holds, that has not, and at no 
very distant period, been deemed quite as heretical as any 
here advanced. In reflecting upon them, and upon the facts 
by which they are supported, he is requested to bear in 
mind that the latter are, with very few exceptions, drawn 
from writers holding views directly opposed to those of the 
author of this volume ; and not therefore to be suspected of 
any exaggeration of the injurious effects of the system here 
treated as leading to slavery, or the beneficial ones resulting 
from that here described as tending to establish perfect and 
universal freedom of thought, speech, action, and trade. 

Philadelphia, March, 1853. 




The Wide Extent of Slavery 5 

Of Slavery in the British Colonies 8 

Of Slavery in the United States 15 

Of Emancipation in the British Colonies 21 


How Man passes from Poverty and Slavery toward wealth and 
Freedom 35 

How Wealth tends to Increase 43 

How Labour acquires Value and Man becomes Free 52 


How Man passes from Wealth and Freedom toward Poverty 
and Slavery 62 


How Slavery grew, and how it is now maintained, in the West 

Indies 74 





How Slavery grew and is maintained in the United States 95 

How Slavery grows in Portugal and Turkey 117 

How Slavery grows in India 130 

How Slavery grows in Ireland and Scotland 174 

How Slavery grows in England 209 

How can Slavery be extinguished? 294 

How Freedom grows in Northern Germany 308 

How Freedom grows in Russia 326 

How Freedom grows in Denmark 340 

How Freedom grows in Spain and Belgium 350 

Of the Duty of the People of the United States 363 

Of the Duty of the People of England 396 






Slavery still exists throughout a large portion of what we are 
accustomed to regard as the civilized world. In some countries, 
men are forced to take the chance of a lottery for the determina- 
tion of the question whether they shall or shall not be transported 
to distant and unhealthy countries, there most probably to perish, 
leaving behind them impoverished mothers and sisters to lament 
their fate. In others, they are seized on the highway and sent to 
sea for long terms of years, while parents, wives, and sisters, who 
had been dependent on their exertions, are left to perish of starva- 
tion, or driven to vice or crime to procure the means of support. 
In a third class, men, their wives, and children, are driven from 
their homes to perish in the road, or to endure the slavery of de- 
pendence on public charity until pestilence shall send them to their 
graves, and thus clear the way for a fresh supply of others like 
themselves. In a fourth, we see men driven to selling themselves 
for long periods at hard labour in distant countries, deprived of the 
society of parents, relatives, or friends. In a fifth, men, women, 
and children are exposed to sale, and wives are separated from hus- 
bands, while children are separated from parents. In some, white 
men, and, in others, black men, are subjected to the lash, and • » 
other of the severest and most degrading punishments. In so 1 *e 
places men are deemed valuable, and they are well fed and clotl ;d. 

1* 5 


In others, man is regarded as "a drug" and population as "a 
nuisance ;" and Christian men are warned that their duty to God 
and to society requires that they should permit their fellow-crea- 
tures to suffer every privation and distress, short of "absolute 
death/ ' with a view to prevent the increase of numbers. 

Among these various classes of slaves, none have recently at- 
tracted so much attention as those of the negro race ; and it is in 
reference to that race in this country that the following paper has 
recently been circulated throughout England : — 

" The affectionate and Christian Address of many thousands of the 
Women of England to their Sisters, the Women of the United States 
of America : 

"A common origin, a common faith, and, we sincerely believe, a 
common cause, urge us at the present moment to address you on the 
subject of that system of negro slavery which still prevails so exten- 
sively, and, even under kindly-disposed masters, with such frightful 
results, in many of the vast regions of the "Western World. 

"We will not dwell on the ordinary topics — on the progress of 
civilization ; on the advance of freedom everywhere ; on the rights 
and requirements of the nineteenth century ; — but we appeal to you 
very seriously to reflect, and to ask counsel of God, how far such a 
state of things is in accordance with His holy word, the inalienable 
rights of immortal souls, and the pure and merciful spirit of the 
Christian religion. 

" We do not shut our eyes to the difficulties, nay, the dangers, that 
might beset the immediate abolition of that long-established system : 
we see and admit the necessity of preparation for so great an 
event. But, in speaking of indispensable preliminaries, we cannot 
be silent on those laws of your country which (in direct contravention 
of God's own law, instituted in the time of man's innocency) deny, in 
effect, to the slave, the sanctity of marriage, with all its joys, rights, 
and obligations ; which separates, at the will of the master, the wife 
from the husband and the children from the parents. Nor can we 
be silent on that awful system which, either by statute or by custom, 
interdicts to any race of man, or any portion of the human family, 
education in the truths of the gospel and the ordinances of Christianity. 

"A remedy applied to these two evils alone would commence the 
amelioration of their sad condition. We appeal,*then, to you as sis- 
ters, as wives, and as mothers, to raise your voices to your fellow- 
citizens and your prayers to God, for the removal of this affliction 
from the Christian world. We do not say these things in a spirit of 
self-complacency, as though our nation were free from the guilt it 
perceives in others. We acknowledge with grief and shame our heavy 
share in this great sin. We acknowledge that our forefathers intro- 
duced, nay, compelled the adoption of slavery in those mighty colo- 
nies. We humbly confess it before Almighty God. And it is because 


we so deeply feel, and so unfeignedly avow our own complicity, that 
we now venture to implore your aid to wipe away our common crime 
and our common dishonour." 

"We have here a movement that cannot fail to be productive of 
much good. It was time that the various nations of the world 
should have their attention called to the existence of slavery within 
their borders, and to the manifold evils of which it was the parent; 
and it was in the highest degree proper that woman should take 
the lead in doing it, as it is her sex that always suffers most in that 
condition of things wherein might triumphs over right, and which 
we are accustomed to define as a state of slavery. 

How shall slavery be abolished ? This is the great question of 
our day. But a few years since it was answered in England by 
an order for the immediate emancipation of the black people held to 
slavery in her colonies ; and it is often urged that we should follow 
her example. Before doing this, however, it would appear to be 
proper to examine into the past history and present situation of the 
negro race in the two countries, with a view to determine how far 
experience would warrant the belief that the course thus urged 
upon us would be likely to produce improvement in the condi- 
tion of the objects of our sympathy. Should the result of such 
an examination be to prove that the cause of freedom has been ad- 
vanced by the measures there pursued, our duty to our fellow-men 
would require that we should follow in the same direction, at what- 
ever loss or inconvenience to ourselves. Should it, however, prove 
that the condition of the poor negro has been impaired and not 
improved, it will then become proper to enquire what have been in 
past times the circumstances under which men have become more 
free, with a view to ascertain wherein lies the deficiency, and why 
it is that freedom now so obviously declines in various and import- 
ant portions of the earth. These things ascertained, it may be that 
there will be little difficulty in determining what are the measures 
now needed for enabling all men, black, white, and brown, to obtain 
for themselves, and profitably to all, the exercise of the rights of 
freemen. To adopt this course will be to follow in that of the 
skilful physician, who always determines within himself the cause 
of fever before he prescribes the remedy. 




At the date of the surrender of Jamaica to the British arms, in 
1655, the slaves, who were few in number, generally escaped to 
the mountains, whence they kept up a war of depredation, until at 
length an accommodation was effected in 1734, the terms of which 
were not, however, complied with by the whites — the consequences 
of which will be shown hereafter. Throughout the whole period 
their numbers were kept up by the desertion of other slaves, and 
to this cause must, no doubt, be attributed much of the bitterness 
with which the subsequent war was waged. 

In 1658, the slave population of the island was 1400. By 1670 
it had reached 8000, and in 1673, 9504.* From that date we 
have no account until 1734, when it was 86,546, giving an increase 
in sixty-one years of 77,000. It was in 1673 that the sugar-cul- 
ture was commenced ; and as profitable employment was thus found 
for labour, there can be little doubt that the number had increased 
regularly and steadily, and that the following estimate must ap- 
proach tolerably near the truth : — 

Say 1702, 36,000 ; increase in 29 years, 26,500 
1734, 77,000; " « 32 " 41,000 
In 1775, the total number of slaves and other coloured persons on 

the island, was 194,614 

And if we now deduct from this the number in 1702, say 36,000 

We obtain, as the increase of 73 years 158,614 

In that period the importations amounted to 497,736 

And the exportation to 137,114 

Leaving, as retained in the island * 360,622f 

* Edwards' Vest Indies, vol. i. p. 255. 

f r.Iaepiiersou's Annals of Commerce, vol. iii. 575. 


or about two and two-fifths persons for one that then remained 

From 1783 to 1787, the number imported was 47,485, and the 
number exported 14,541 ;* showing an increase in five years of 
nearly 33,000, or 6,600 per annum ; and by a report of the In- 
spector-General, it was shown that the number retained from 1778 
to 1787, averaged 5345 per annum. Taking the thirteen years, 
1775-1787, at that rate, we obtain nearly 70,000 

From 1789 to 1791, the excess of import was 32,289, 
or 10,763 per annum; and if we take the four years, 
1788-1791, at the same rate, we obtain, as the total 
number retained in that period 43,000 


In 1791, a committee of the House of Assembly made a report 
on the number of the slaves, by which it was made to be 250,000 ; 
and if to this be added the free negroes, amounting to 10,000, we 
obtain, as the total number, 260,000, — showing an increase, in 
fifteen years, of 65,386 — or nearly 48,000 less than the number 
that had been imported. 

We have now ascertained an import, in 89 years, of 473,000, 
with an increase of numbers amounting to only 224,000; thus 
establishing the fact that more than half of the whole import had 
perished under the treatment to which they had been subjected. 
Why it had been so may be gathered from the following extract, by 
which it is shown that the system there and then pursued corre- 
sponds nearly with that of Cuba at the present time. 

" The advocates of the slave trade insisted that it was impossible 
to keep up the stock of negroes, without continual importations from 
Africa. It is, indeed, very evident, that as long as importation is 
continued, and two-thirds of the slaves imported are men, the succeed- 
ing generation, in the most favourable circumstances, cannot be more 
numerous than if there had been only half as many men ; or, in other 
words, at least half the men may be said, with respect to population, 
to die without posterity." — Macpherson, vol. iv. 148. 

In 1792, a committee of the Jamaica House of Assembly re- 
* Macpherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. iv. 155. 


ported that "the abolition of the slave trade" must be followed 

by the " total ruin and depopulation of the island." " Suppose," 

said they, 

"A planter settling with a gang of 100 African slaves, all bought 
in the prime of life. Out of this gang he will be able at first to put to 
work, on an average, from 80 to 90 labourers. The committee will 
further suppose that they increase in number ; yet, in the course of 
twenty years, this gang will be so far reduced, in point of strength, 
that he will not be able to work more than 30 to 40. It will therefore 
require a supply of 50 new negroes to keep up his estate, and that not 
owing to cruelty, or want of good management on his part ; on the 
contrary, the more humane he is, the greater the number of old people 
and young he will have on his estate." — Macpherson, iv. 256. 

In reference to this extraordinary reasoning, Macpherson says, 
very correctly — 

" With submission, it may be asked if people become superannuated 
in twenty years after being in the prime of life; and if the children of 
all these superannuated people are in a state of infancy? If one-half of 
these slaves are women, (as they ought to be, if the planter looks to 
futurity,) will not those fifty women, in twenty years, have, besides 
younger children, at least one hundred grown up to young men and 
women, capable of partaking the labour of their parents, and replac- 
ing the loss by superannuation or death, — as has been the case with the 
working people in all other parts of the world, from the creation to 
this day?" 

To this question there can be but one reply : Man has always 
increased in numbers where he has been well fed, well clothed, and 
reasonably worked • and wherever his numbers have decreased, it 
has been because of a deficiency of food and clothing and an excess 
of work. 

It was at this period that the Maroon war was again in full 
activity, and so continued until 1796, when it was terminated by 
the employment of bloodhounds to track the fugitives, who finally 
surrendered, and were transported to Lower Canada, whence they 
were soon after sent to Sierra Leone. 

From 1792 to 1799, the net import was 74,741 ; and if it con- 
tinued at the same rate to 1808, the date of the abolition of the 
trade, the number imported in eighteen years would be nearly 
150,000 ; and yet the number of slaves increased, in that period, 
from 250,000 to only 323,827 — being an annual average increase 
of about 4500, and exhibiting a loss of fifty per cent. 


In the thirty-four years, 1775-1808, the number of negroes 
added to the population of the island, by importation, would seem 
to have been more than 260,000, and within about 50,000 of the 
number that, a quarter of a century later, was emancipated. 

In 1817, nine years after importation had been declared illegal, 
the number is stated* at 346,150 j from which it would appear 
that the trade must have been in some measure continued up to 
that date, as there is no instance on record of any natural increase 
in any of the islands, under any circumstances. It is, indeed, 
quite clear that no such increase has taken place ; for had it once 
commenced, it would have continued, which was not the case, as 
will be seen by the following figures : — 

In 1817, the number was, as we see 346,150. In 1820, it was 
only 342,382; and if to this we add the manumissions for the 
same period, (1016,) we have a net loss of 2752. 

In 1826, they had declined in numbers to 331,119, to which 
must be added 1848 manumissions — showing a loss, in six years, 
of 9415, or nearly three per cent. 

The number shown by the last registration, 1833, was only 
311,692; and if to this we add 2000 that had been manumitted, 
we shall have a loss, in seven years, of 19,275, or more than five 
per cent. In sixteen years, there had been a diminution of ten per 
cent., one-fifth of which may be attributed to manumission j and 
thus is it clearly established that in 1830, as in 1792, a large an- 
nual importation would have been required, merely to maintain the 
number of the population. 

That the condition of the negroes was in a course of deteriora- 
tion in this period, is clearly shown by the fact that the proportion 
of births to deaths was in a steady course of diminution, as is here 
shown : — 
From 1817 to 1820, were registered 25,104 deaths, 24,348 births. 

" 1823 to 1826, " " 25,171 " 23,026 " 

" 1826 to 1829, " " 25,137 " 21,728 " 

The destruction of life was thus proceeding with constantly accele- 

* Martin's Colonial Library, "West Indies, vol. i. 90. 


rating rapidity; and a continuance of the system, as it then existed, 
must have witnessed the total annihilation of the negro race within 
half a century. 

Viewing these facts, not a doubt can, I think, be enter- 
tained that the number of negroes imported into the island and 
retained for its consumption was more than double the number 
that existed there in 1817, and could scarcely have been less than 
750,000, and certainly, at the most moderate estimate, not less than 
700,000. If to these we were to add the children that must 
have been born on the island in the long period of 178 years, and 
then to reflect that all who remained for emancipation amounted to 
only 311,000, we should find ourselves forced to the conclusion that 
slavery was here attended with a destruction of life almost without 
a parallel in the history of any civilized nation. 

"With a view to show that Jamaica cannot be regarded as an un- 
favourable specimen of the system, the movement of population in 
other colonies will now be given. 

In 1764, the slave population of St. Vincent's was 7414. In 
1787, twenty-three years after, it was 11,853, having increased 
4439 ; whereas, in four only of those years, 1784-87, the net 
import of negroes had been no less than 6100.* In 1805, the 
number was 16,500, the increase having been 4647; whereas the 
net import in three only, out of eighteen years, had been 1937. 
What was the cause of this, may be seen by the comparative view 
of deaths, and their compensation by births, at a later period : — 

Year 1822 4205 deaths, 2656 births. 

" 1825 2106 " 1852 " 

" 1828 2020 " 1829 « 

" 1831 2266 " 1781 " 

The births, it will be observed, steadily diminished in number. 

At the peace of 1763, Dominica contained 6000 slaves. The 
net amount of importation, in four years, 1784 to 1787, was 
23,221;* and yet the total population in 1788 was but 14,967! 
Here we have a waste of life so far exceeding that of Jamaica that 

* Macpherson, vol. iv. 155. f Ibid. 


we might almost feel ourselves called upon to allow five imported for 
every one remaining on the island. Forty-four years afterwards, 
in 1832, the slave emancipation returns gave 14,834 as remaining 
out of the vast number that had been imported. The losses by 
death and the gains by births, for a part of the period preceding 
emancipation, are thus given : — 

1817 to 1820 1748 deaths, 1433 births. 

1820 to 1823 1527 " 1491 " 

1823 to 1826 1493. " 1309 " 

If we look to British Guiana, we find the same results.* 
In 1820, Demerara and Essequibo had a slave population of 77,376 

By 1826, it had fallen to 71,382 

And by 1832, it had still further fallen to 65,517 

The deaths and births of this colony exhibit a waste of life that 
would be deemed almost incredible, had not the facts been carefully 
registered at the moment : — 

1817 to 1820 7140 deaths, 4868 births. 

1820 to 1823 7188 " 4512 " 

1823 to 1826 7634 " 4494 " 

1826 to 1829 5731 " 4684 " 

1829 to 1832 7016 " 4086 " 

We have here a decrease, in fifteen years, of fifteen per cent., or 
12,000 out of 77,000. Each successive period, with a single ex- 
ception, presents a diminished number of births, while the average 
of deaths in the last three periods is almost the same as in the 
first one. 

Barbadoes had, in 1753, a slave population of 69,870. In 
1817, sixty-four years after, although importation appears to have 
been regularly continued on a small scale, it amounted to only 
77,493. In this case, the slaves appear to have been better treated 
than elsewhere, as here we find, in the later years, the births to 
have exceeded the deaths — the former having been, from 1826 to 

* Montgomery's West Indies, vol. ii. 111. 


1829, 9250, while the latter were 6814. There were here, also, 
in the same period, 670 manumissions. 

In Trinidad, out of a total slave population of 23,537, the 
deaths, in twelve years, were no less than 8774, while the births 
were only 6001. 

Grenada surrendered to the British forces in 1762. Seven 
years after, in 1769, there were 35,000 negroes on the island. In 
1778, notwithstanding the importation, they appear to have been 
reduced to 25,021. 

In the four years from 1784 to 1787, and the three from 1789 
to 1791, (the only ones for which I can find an account,) the num- 
ber imported and retained for consumption on the island amounted 
to no less than 16,222 $.* and yet the total number finally emanci- 
pated was but 23,471. The destruction of life appears here to 
have been enormous ; and that it continued long after the aboli- 
tion of the slave trade, is shown by the following comparison of 
births and deaths : — 

1817 451 births, 902 deaths. 

1818 .....657 " 1070 " 

The total births from' 1817 to 1831, were 10,144 in number, while 
the deaths were 12,764 — showing a loss of about ten per cent. 

The number of slaves emancipated in 1834, in all the British 
possessions, was 780,993 ; and the net loss in the previous five 
years had been 38,811, or almost one 'per cent, per annum. 

The number emancipated in the West Indies was 660,000 ; and 
viewing the facts that have been placed before the reader, we can 
scarcely err much in assuming that the number imported and re- 
tained for consumption in those colonies had amounted to 1,700,000. 
This would give about two and a half imported for one that was 
emancipated ; and there is some reason to think that it might be 
placed as high as three for one, which would give a total import 
of almost two millions. 

While thus exhibiting the terrific waste of life in the British colo- 

* Macphorson, vol. iv. 155, 228. 


nies, it is not intended either to assert or to deny any voluntary seve- 
rity on the part of the landholders. They were, themselves, as will 
hereafter be shown, to a great extent, the slaves of circumstances 
over which they had no control ; and it cannot be doubted that 
much, very much, of the responsibility, must rest on other shoulders. 



In the North American provinces, now the United States, negro 
slavery existed from a very early period, but on a very limited 
scale, as the demand for slaves was mainly supplied from England. 
The exports of the colonies were bulky, and the whites could be 
imported as return cargo; whereas the blacks would have re- 
quired a voyage to the coast of Africa, with which little trade was 
maintained. The export from England ceased after the revolution 
of 1688, and thenceforward negro slaves were somewhat more 
freely imported ; yet the trade appears to have been so small as 
scarcely to have attracted notice. The only information on the 
subject furnished by Macpherson in his Annals of Commerce is 
that, in the eight months ending July 12, 1753, the negroes im- 
ported into Charleston, S. C, were 511 in number; and that in 
the year 1765-66, the value of negroes imported from Africa into 
Georgia was £14,820 — and this, if they be valued at only £10 
each, would give only 1482. From 1783 to 1787, the number ex- 
ported from all the "West India Islands to this country was 1392* 
— being an average of less than 300 per annum ; and there is little 
reason for believing that this number was increased by any import 
direct from Africa. The British West Indies were then the entre- 
pot of the trade,f and thence they were supplied to the other islands 

* Macpherson, vol. iv. 155. 

f The export to the foreign West Indies, from 1783 to 1787, is given by Mac- 
pherson at nearly 20,000. 


and the settlements on the Main ; and had the demand for this 
country been considerable, it cannot be doubted that a larger por- 
tion of the thousands then annually exported would have been sent 
in this direction. 

Under these circumstances, the only mode of arriving at the 
history of slavery prior to the first census, in 1790, appears to be 
to commence at that date and go forward, and afterwards employ 
the information so obtained in endeavouring to elucidate the opera- 
tions of the previous period. The number of negroes, free and 

enslaved, at that date, was 757,263 

And at the second census, in 1801, it was 1,001,436 

showing an increase of almost thirty-three per cent. How much 
of this, however, was due to importation, we have now to inquire. 
The only two States that then tolerated the import of slaves were 
South Carolina and Georgia, the joint black population of which, in 

1790, was 136,358 

whereas, in 1800, it had risen to - 205,555 

Increase.. 69,197 

In the same period the white population increased 104,762, re- 
quiring an immigration from the Northern slave States to the extent 
of not less than 45,000, even allowing more than thirty per cent, 
for the natural increase by births. Admitting, now, that for every t 
family of five free persons there came one slave, this would ac- 
count for 9,000 

And if we take the natural increase of the slave population 

at only twenty-five per cent., we have further 34,000 

Making a total from domestic sources of 43,000 

And leaving, for the import from abroad 26,197 

Deducting these from the total number added, we obtain, for the 

natural increase, about 29 J per cent. 

Macpherson, treating of this period, says — 

" That importation is not necessary for keeping up the stock is 
proved by the example of North America — a country less congenial to 
the constitution of the negro than the West Indies — where, notwith- 
standing the destruction and desertion of the slaves occasioned by the 


war, the number of negroes, though perhaps not of slaves, has greatly- 
increased — because, since the war tJiey have imported very few, and of late 
years none at all, except in the Southern States." — Annals, vol. iv. 150. 

The number of vessels employed in the slave trade, in 1795, is 
stated to have been twenty, all of them small ; and the number of 
slaves to be carried was limited to one for each ton of their capacity. 

From 1800 to 1&10, the increase was 378,374, of which nearly 
30,000 were found in Louisiana at her incorporation into the Union, 
leaving about 350,000 to come from other sources; being an in- 
crease of 35 per cent. In this period the increase of Georgia and 
South Carolina, the two importing States, was only 96,000, while 
that of the white population was 129,073, carrying with them per- 
haps 25,000. If to this be added the natural increase at the rate 
of 25 per cent., we obtain about 75,000, leaving only 21,000 for 
importation. It is probable, however, that it was somewhat larger, 
and that it might be safe to estimate it at the same amount as in 
the previous period, making a total of about 52,000 in the twenty 
years. Deducting 26,000 from the 350,000, we obtain 324,000 as 
the addition from domestic sources, which would be about 32 per 
cent, on the population of 1800. This may be too high; and yet 
the growth of the following decennial period — one of war and great 
commercial and agricultural distress — was almost thirty per cent. 
In 1810, the number had been 1,379,800. 

In 1820 it was 1,779,885; increase 30 
" 1830 " 2,328,642; " 30- 
" 1840 " 2,873,703; " 24 
" 1850 " 3,591,000; « 25 

Having thus ascertained, as far as possible, the ratio of increase 
subsequent to the first census, we may now proceed to an examina- 
tion of the course of affairs in the period which had preceded it. 

In 1714, the number of blacks was 58,850, and they were dis- 
persed throughout the provinces from New Hampshire to Carolina, 
engaged, to a large extent, in labours similar to those in which 
were engaged the whites by whom they were owned. One-half of 

* The causes of this diminution will be exhibited in a future chapter. 




« * 


a * 


them may have been imported. Starting from this point, and 
taking the natural increase of each decennial period at 25 per cent., 
as shown to have since been the case, we should obtain, for 1750, 
about 130,000. The actual quantity was 220,000; and the differ- 
ence, 90,000, may be set down to importation. Adding, now, 25 
per cent, to 220,000, we obtain, for 1760,^75,000; whereas the 
actual number was 310,000, which would give^5,000 for importa- 
tion. Pursuing the same course with the following periods, we 
obtain the following results : — 

Years. Actual number. Natural increase. Actual increase. Importation. 

1760 310,000 77,500 152,000 74,500 

1770 462,000 115,500 120,000 \ 34 0Q0 

1780 582,000 140,500 170,000 j "' ' 

1790 752,000, number given by first census. 

For a large portion of the period from 1770 to 1790, there 
must have been a very small importation ; for during nearly half 
the time the trade with foreign countries was almost altogether 
suspended by the war of the revolution. 

If we add together the quantities thus obtained, we shall obtain 
a tolerable approximation to the number of slaves imported into 
the territory now constituting the Union, as follows : — 

Prior to 1714 30,000 

1715 to 1750 90,000 

1751 to 1760 35,000 

1761 to 1770 |j 74,500 

1771 to 1790 '.%... 34,000 

And if we now estimate the import subsequent to 1£90 
at even 70,000 

We obtain as the total number 333,500 

The number now in the Union exceeds 3,800,000 ; and even if 
we estimate the import as high as 380,000, we then have more 
than ten for one ; whereas in the British Islands we can find not 
more than two for five, and perhaps even not more than one for 
three. Had the slaves of the latter been as well fed, clothed, 


lodged, and otherwise cared for, as were those of these provinces 
and States, their numbers would have reached seventeen or twenty 
millions. Had the blacks among the people of these States ex- 
perienced the same treatment as did their fellows of the islands, 
we should now have among us less than one hundred and fifty 
thousand slaves. 

The prices paid by the British Government averaged £25 per 
head. Had the number in the colonies been allowed to increase 
as they increased here, it would have required, even at that price, 
the enormous sum of £500,000,000 

Had the numbers in this country been reduced by 
the same process there practised, emancipation could 
now be carried out at cost of less than £4,000,000 

To emancipate them now, paying for them at the 

same rate, would require nearly £100,000,000 

or almost five hundred millions of dollars. The same course, how- 
ever, that has increased their numbers, has largely increased their 
value to the owners and to themselves. Men, when well fed, 
well clothed, well lodged, and otherwise well cared for, always in- 
crease rapidly in numbers, and in such cases labour always increases 
rapidly in value ; and hence it is that the average price of the negro 
slave of this country is probably four times greater than that which 
the planters of the West Indies were compelled to receive. Such 
being the case, it would follow that to pay for their full value would 
require probably four hundred millions of pounds sterling, or nearly 
two thousand millions of dollars. 

It will now be seen that the course of things in the two coun- 
tries has been entirely different. In the islands the slave trade had 
been cherished as a source of profit. Here, it had been made the 
subject of repeated protests on the part of several of the provinces, 
and had been by all but two prohibited at the earliest moment at 
which they possessed the power so to do. In the islands it was 
held to be cheaper to buy slaves than to raise them, and the sexes 
were out of all proportion to each other. Here, importation was 
small, and almost the whole increase, large as it has been, has re- 
sulted from the excess of births over deaths. In the islands, the 


slave was generally a barbarian, speaking an unknown tongue, and 
working with men like himself, in gangs, with scarcely a chance 
for improvement. Here, he was generally a being born on the soil, 
speaking the same language with his owner, and often working in 
the field with him, with many advantages for the development of his 
faculties. In the islands, the land-owners clung to slavery as the 
sheet-anchor of their hopes. Here, on the contrary, slavery had 
gradually been abolished in all the States north of Mason & Dixon's 
line, and Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky were all, 
at the date of emancipation in the islands, preparing for the early 
adoption of measures looking to its entire abolition. In the 
islands, the connection with Africa had been cherished as a means 
of obtaining cheap labour, to be obtained by fomenting discord 
among the natives. Here, on the contrary, had originated a grand 
scheme for carrying civilization into the heart of Africa by means 
of the gradual transplantation of some of the already civilized blacks. 
In the islands, it has been deemed desirable to carry out " the 
European policy/' of preventing the Africans "from arriving at 
perfection" in the art of preparing their cotton, sugar, indigo, or 
other articles, l i from a fear of interfering with established branches 
of commerce elsewhere."* Here, on the contrary, efforts had been 
made for disseminating among them the knowledge required for per- 
fecting themselves in the modes of preparation and manufacture. In 
the islands, every thing looked toward the permanency of slavery. 
Here, every thing looked toward the gradual and gentle civiliza- 
tion and emancipation of the negro throughout the world. In the 
islands, however, by a prompt measure forced on the people by a 
distant government, slavery was abolished, and the planters, or their 
representatives in England, received twenty millions of pounds ster- 
ling as compensation in full for the services of the few who remained 
in existence out of the large number that had been imported. 
Here, the planters are now urged to adopt for themselves measures 
of a similar kind. The whole course of proceeding in the two 
countries in reference to the negro having been so widely different, 

:;: Macpberson, vol. iv. 144. 


there are, however, difficulties in the way that seem to be almost 
insuperable. The power to purchase the slaves of the British 
colonies was a consequence of the fact that their numbers had not 
been permitted to increase. The difficulty of purchasing them here 
is great, because of their having been well fed, well clothed, and 
otherwise well provided for, and having therefore increased so 
rapidly. If, nevertheless, it can be shown that by abandoning the 
system under which the negro race has steadily increased in num- 
bers and advanced towards civilization, and adopting that of a nation 
under whose rule there has been a steady decline of numbers, and 
but little, if any, tendency toward civilization, we shall benefit the 
race, it will become our duty to make the effort, however great 
may be the cost. With a view to ascertain how far duty may be 
regarded as calling upon us now to follow in the footsteps of 
that nation, it is proposed to examine into the working of the act 
by which the whole negro population of the British colonies was, 
almost at once and without preparation, invested with the right to 
determine for whom they would work and what should be their 
wages — or were, in other words, declared to be free. 



The small number of slaves held in the British colonies and 
their small value having enabled the people of England to dis- 
charge them from all compulsory labour, on payment to their own- 
ers of a portion of that small value, the question now arises — 
"Has that measure tended to the advancement of the negro in 
numbers, wealth, happiness, or civilization V 

Reasoning a priori, we should be led to doubt if such could be 
its results. The savage is indolent ; he labours only when com- 
pelled to do so. He may shoot the deer, but he leaves to his squaw 
the labour of carrying it home and preparing it for his supper. 
Look at him where we may, we find him idle and improvident. If 


he kill more game than is required for the day, it is allowed to 
spoil. If he obtain money, it is wasted in the purchase of rum. 
He is a gambler, and always ready to stake whatever he possesses, 
even to life itself, on the chances of the die. Not only does he 
not accumulate any thing for the future, but he wastes and destroys 
around him ; and therefore it is that we find him steadily declining 
in numbers and in condition. 

That the negroes of the islands and the Main had been kept 
nearly in a state of barbarism, was a necessary consequence of the 
fact that constant importation of barbarians had been required- to 
replace those who died of exhaustion from excess of labour, or from 
poverty of food, clothing, and lodging. Their condition generally 
had been similar to that now observed on many of the estates in 
Cuba. Five men to one woman is stated by Macpherson to have 
been the relation of the numbers of the sexes on many of the 
estates ; and under such circumstances any advance toward civiliza- 
tion must have been impossible. Up to the day of emancipation 
these men had been forced to work, and the great object of desire 
had been exemption from labour. Under such circumstances, it 
was greatly to be feared that if suddenly emancipated from con- 
trol, they would, like children, be disposed to make a little labour 
answer their purpose, giving the rest of their time to idleness ; and 
the direct effect and intent of the measure adopted was to give 
them the power to determine for themselves for whom they would 
work, and how much work they would agree to give for any given 
amount of compensation. The larger the wages for a day the 
more days they could spend in idleness, and they could not but 
know that the planters were entirely in their power. If they idled 
for a week, their late master lost his crop. If they worked six 
hours out of twenty-four, not only did capital employed in the 
steam-engine fail to pay interest, but the planter lost his market 
for his sugar. Emancipation, under such circumstances, changed 
them at once from the condition of absolute slaves to absolute 
masters of the fortunes of those whom they had lately served. 
They could live on the produce of little labour, and the less they 
were disposed to work the greater must become the necessities of 


the planters, and the greater their own power to determine the con- 
ditions upon which they would work. 

The harmony of the universe is the result of a contest between 
equal and opposing powers. The earth is attracted to the sun and 
from the sun ; and were either of these forces to be diminished or de- 
stroyed, chaos would be the inevitable result. So is it everywhere on 
the earth. The apple falls toward the centre of the earth, but in its 
passage it encounters resistance ; and the harmony of every thing 
we see around us is dependent on the equal balance of these op- 
posing forces. So is it among men. The man who has food to 
sell wishes to have a high price for it, whereas he who needs to 
buy desires to have it cheaply; and the selling price depends on the 
relation between the necessity to buy on one hand, or to sell on the 
other. Diminish suddenly and largely the competition for the pur- 
chase of food, and the farmer becomes the prey of the mechanic. 
Increase it suddenly and largely, and the mechanic becomes the prey 
of the farmer; whereas a gradual and gentle increase in the demand 
for food is accompanied by a similar increase in the demand for the 
products of the loom and the anvil, and both farmer and mechanic 
prosper together, because the competition for purchase and the com- 
petition for sale grow together and balance each other. So, too, with 
labour. "Wages are dependent upon the relation between the num- 
ber of those who desire to buy and to sell labour. Diminish sud- 
denly the number of those who desire to sell it, and the farmer may 
be ruined. Diminish suddenly the number of those who desire to 
buy it, and the labourer may become the slave of the farmer. 

For almost two centuries, men possessed of capital and desirous 
to purchase labour had been induced to transfer it to the colonies, 
and the government secured to them the right to obtain labourers 
on certain specified terms — such terms as made the labourer a mere 
instrument in the hands of the capitalist, and prevented him from 
obtaining any of those habits or feelings calculated to inspire him 
with a love for labour. At once, all control over him was with- 
drawn, and the seller of labour was converted into the master of 
him who was thus, by the action of the government, placed in such 
a situation that he must buy it or be ruined. Here was a disturb- 


ance of the order of things that had existed, almost as great as that 
which occurs when the powerful steam, bursting the boiler in which 
it is enclosed, ceases to be the servant and becomes the master of 
man ; and it would have required but little foresight to enable 
those who had the government of this machine to see that it must 
prove almost as ruinous. 

How it operated in Southern Africa, where the slave was most 
at home, is shown by the following extracts from the work of a 
recent traveller and settler in that colony : — * 

" The chain was broken, and the people of England hurraed to their 
heart's content. And the slave ! What, in the meanwhile, became of 
him ? If he was young and vicious, away he went — he was his own 
master. He was at liberty to walk to and fro upon the earth, ' seeking 
whom he might devour/ He was free : he had the world before him 
where to choose, though, squatted beside the Kaffir's fire, probably 
thinking his meal of parched corn but poor stuff after the palatable 
dishes he had been permitted to cook for himself in the Boer's or 
tradesman's kitchen. But he was fain to like it — he could get nothing 
else — and this was earned at the expense of his own soul ; for it was 
given him as an inducement to teach the Kaffir the easiest mode of 
plundering his ancient master. If inclined to work, he had no certain 
prospect of employment ; and the Dutch, losing so much by the sudden 
Emancipation Act, resolved on working for themselves. So the virtu- 
ous, redeemed slave, had too many temptations to remain virtuous : 
he was hungry — so was his wife — so were his children ; and he must 
feed them. How? No matter." 

These people will work at times, but they must have wages 
that will enable them to play much of their time. 

" When we read of the distress of our own country, and of the 
wretched earnings of our mechanics, we are disgusted at the idea of 
these same Fingoes striking work (as Coolies) at Waterloo Bay, being 
dissatisfied with the pay of 2s. a day. As their services are necessary 
in landing cargo, their demand of 3s. a day has been acceded to, and 
they have consented to work when it suits them ! — for they take occa- 
sional holidays, for dancing and eating. At Algoa Bay, the Fingoes 
are often paid 6s. a day for working as Coolies." 

These men have all the habits of the savage. They leave to the 
women the tilling of the ground, the hoeing of the corn, the carry- 
ing of water, and all the heavy work ; and to the boys and old 
men the tending of the cattle, while they themselves spend the 
year in hunting, dancing, eating, and robbing their neighbours — 

• The Cape and the Kaffirs, by Harriet Ward, London, 1852. 


except when occasionally they deem it expedient to do a few days' 
work at such wages as they may think proper to dictate. 

How it has operated in the West Indies we may next inquire, 
and with that view will take Jamaica, one of the oldest, and, until 
lately, one of the most prosperous of the colonies. That island 
embraces about four millions of acres of land, "of which," says 
Mr. Bigelow, — 

"There are not, probably, any ten lying adjacent to each other which 
are not susceptible of the highest cultivation, while not more than 
500,000 acres have ever been reclaimed, or even appropriated."* 

"It is traversed by over tAvo hundred streams, forty of which are 
from twenty-five to one hundred feet in breadth ; and, it deserves to 
be mentioned, furnish water-power sufficient to manufacture every 
thing produced by the soil, or consumed by the inhabitants. Far less 
expense than is usually incurred on the same surface in the United 
States for manure, would irrigate all the dry lands of the island, and 
enable them to defy the most protracted droughts by which it is ever 
visited, "f 

The productiveness of the soil is immense. Fruits of every 

variety abound ; vegetables of every kind for the table, and Indian 

corn, grow abundantly. The island is rich in dyestuffs, drugs, 

and spices of the greatest value ; and the forests furnish the most 

celebrated woods in the greatest variety. In addition to this, it 

possesses copper-mines inferior to none in the world, and coal will 

probably be mined extensively before many years. " Such," says 

Mr. Bigelow, — 

"Are some of the natural resources of this dilapidated and poverty- 
stricken country. Capable as it is of producing almost every thing, 
and actually producing nothing which might not become a staple with 
a proper application of capital and skill, its inhabitants are miserably 
poor, and daily sinking deeper and deeper into the utter helplessness 
of abject want. 

" f Magnas inter opes inops.' 
" Stepping has deserted her ports ; her magnificent plantations of 
sugar and coffee are running to weeds ; her private dwellings are fall- 
ing to decay; the comforts and luxuries which belong to industrial 
prosperity have been cut off, one by one, from her inhabitants ; and 
the day, I think, is at hand when there will be none left to represent 
the wealth, intelligence, and hospitality for which the Jamaica planter 
was once so distinguished." 

The cause of all this, say the planters, is that wages are too high 

* Notes on Jamaica in 1350, p. 61. f Ibid. 68. 



for the price of sugar. This Mr. Bigelow denies — not conceding 
that a shilling a day is high wages ; but all the facts he adduces 
tend to show that the labourer gives very little labour for the money 
he receives ; and that, as compared with the work done, wages are 
really far higher than in any part of the Union. Like the Fingo 
of Southern Africa, he can obtain from a little patch of land all 
that is indispensably necessary for his subsistence, and he will do 
little more work than is needed for accomplishing that object. The 
consequence of this is that potatoes sell for six cents a pound, eggs 
from three to five cents each, milk at eighteen cents a quart, and 
corn-meal at twelve or fourteen dollars a barrel ; and yet there are 
now more than a hundred thousand of these small proprietors, being 
almost one for every three people on the island. All cultivators, 
they yet produce little to sell, and the consequence of this is seen 
in the fact that the mass of the flour, rice, corn, peas, butter, lard, 
herrings, &c. needed for consumption requires to be imported, as 
well as all the lumber, although millions of acres of timber are to 
be found among the unappropriated lands of the island. 

It is impossible to read Mr. Bigelow's volume, without arriving 
at the conclusion that the freedom granted to the negro has had 
little effect except that of enabling him to live at the expense of 
the planter so long as any thing remained. Sixteen years of free- 
dom did not appear to its author to have " advanced the dignity of 
labour or of the labouring classes one particle," while it had ruined 
the proprietors of the land ; and thus great damage had been done to 
the one class without benefit of any kind to the other. From a 
statistical table published in August last, it appears, says the New 
York Herald, that since 1846 — 

" The number of sugar-estates on the island that have been %)tally 
abandoned amounts to one hundred and sixty-eight, and the number 
partially abandoned to sixty-three ; the value of which two hundred 
and thirty-one estates was assessed, in 1841, at £1,655,140, or nearly 
eight millions and a half of dollars. Within the same period, two 
hundred and twenty-three coffee-plantations have been totally, and 
twenty partially abandoned, the assessed value of which was, in 1841, 
£500,000, or two millions and a half of dollars ; and of cattle-pens, 
(grazing-farms,) one hundred and twenty-two have been totally, and 
ten partially abandoned, the value of which was a million and a half 
of dollars. The aggregate value of these six hundred and six estates, 


which have been thus ruined and abandoned in the island of Jamaica, 
within the last seven or eight years, amounted by the regular assess- 
ments, ten years since, to the sum of nearly two and a half millions 
of pounds sterling, or twelve and a half million of dollars/' 

As a necessary consequence of this, " there is little heard of," 
says Dr. King, "but ruin."* "In many districts/' he adds — 

" The marks of decay abound. Neglected fields, crumbling houses, 
fragmentary fences, noiseless machinery — these are common sights, 
and soon become familiar to observation. I sometimes rode for miles 
in succession over fertile ground which used to be cultivated, and which 
is now lying waste. So rapidly has cultivation retrogaded, and the 
wild luxuriance of nature replaced the conveniences of art, that parties 
still inhabiting these desolated districts, have sometimes, in the strong 
language of a speaker at Kingston, ' to seek about the bush to find the 
entrance into their houses/ 

" The towns present a spectacle not less gloomy. A great part of 
Kingston was destroyed, some years ago, by an extensive conflagration: 
yet multitudes of the houses which escaped that visitation are standing 
empty, though the population is little, if at all diminished. The ex- 
planation is obvious. Persons who have nothing, and can no longer 
keep up their domestic establisments, take refuge in the abodes of 
others, where some means of subsistence are still left : and in the 
absence of any discernible trade or occupation, the lives of crowded 
thousands appear to be preserved from day to day by a species of 
miracle. The most busy thoroughfares of former times have now 
almost the quietude of a Sabbath." 

"The finest land in the world," says Mr. Bigelow, "may be had 
at any price, and almost for the asking." Labour, he adds, 
"receives no compensation, and the product of labour does not 
seem to know how to find the way to market." Properties which 
were formerly valued at £40,000 would not now command £4000, 
and others, after having been sold at six, eight, or ten per cent, of 
their former value, have been finally abandoned. 

The following is from a report made in 1849 and signed by 
various missionaries : — 

" Missionary efforts in Jamaica are beset at the present time with 
many and great discouragements. Societies at home have withdrawn 
or diminished the amount of assistance afforded by them to chapels 
and schools throughout this island. The prostrate condition of its 
agriculture and commerce disables its own population from doing as 
much as formerly for maintaining the worship of God and the tuition 

* State and Prospects of Jamaica. 


of the young, and induces numbers of negro labourers to retire from 
estates which have been thrown up, to seek the means of subsistence 
in the mountains, where they are removed in general from moral 
training and superintendence. The consequences of this state of 
matters are very disastrous. Not a few missionaries and teachers, 
often struggling with difficulties which they could not overcome, have 
returned to Europe, and others are preparing to follow them. Chapels 
and schools are abandoned, or they have passed into the charge of 
very incompetent instructors." — Quoted in King's Jamaica, p. 111. 

Population gradually diminishes, furnishing another evidence 
that the tendency of every thing is adverse to the progress of 
civilization. In 18-11, the island contained a little short of 
400,000 persons. In 1844, the census returns gave about 380,000; 
and a recent journal states that of those no less than forty thousand 
have in the last two years been carried off by cholera, and that 
small-pox, which has succeeded that disease, is now sweeping 
away thousands whom that disease had spared. Increase of crime, 
it adds, keeps pace with the spread of misery throughout the island. 

The following extracts from a Report of a Commission ap- 
pointed in 1850 to inquire into the state and prosperity of Guiana, 
are furnished by Lord Stanley in his second letter to Mr. Gladstone, 
[London, 1851.] 

Of Guiana generally they say — 

"'It would be but a melancholy task to dwell upon the misery and 
ruin which so alarming a change must have occasioned to the proprie- 
tary body; but your Commissioners feel themselves called upon to 
notice the effects which this wholesale abandonment of property has 
produced upon the colony at large. Where whole districts are fast 
relapsing into bush, and occasional patches of provisions around the 
huts of village settlers are. all that remain to tell of once flourishing 
estates, it is not to be wondered at that the most ordinary marks of 
civilization are rapidly disappearing, and that in many districts of the 
colony all travelling communication by land will soon become utterly 

"Of the Abary district— 

" ' Your Commissioners find that the line of road is nearly impassable, 
and that a long succession of formerly cultivated estates presents now 
a series of pestilent swamps, overrun with bush, and productive of 
malignant fevers.' 

"Nor are matters," says Lord Stanley, "much better farther south — 

"'Proceeding still lower down, your Commissioners find that the 

publfc roads and bridges are in such a condition, that the few estates 

still remaining on the upper west bank of Mahaica Creek are completely 


cut off, save in the very dry season ; and that with regard to the whole 
district, unless something be done very shortly, travelling by land will 
entirely cease. In such a state of things it cannot be wondered at 
that the herdsman has a formidable enemy to encounter in the jaguar 
and other beasts of prey, and that the keeping of cattle is attended 
with considerable loss, from the depredations committed by these 

" It may be worth noticing," continues Lord Stanley, "that this dis- 
trict, now overrun with wild beasts of the forest, was formerly the 
very garden of the colony. The estates touched one another along the 
whole line of the road, leaving no interval of uncleared land. 

"The east coast, which is next mentioned by the Commissioners, is 
better off. Properties once of immense value had there been bought 
at nominal prices, and the one railroad of Guiana passing through that 
tract, a comparatively industrious population, composed of former 
labourers on the line, enabled the planters still to work these to some 
profit. Even of this favoured spot, however, they report that it " feels 
most severely the want of continuous labour.' The Commissioners 
next visit the east bank of the Demerara river, thus described : — 

"'Proceeding up the east bank of the river Demerary, the generally 
prevailing features of ruin and distress are everywhere perceptible. 
Roads and bridges almost impassable are fearfully significant expo- 
nents of the condition of the plantations which they traverse ; and 
Canal Xo. 3, once covered with plantains and coffee, presents now a 
scene of almost total desolation.' 

"Crossing to the west side, they find prospects somewhat brighter: 
1 a few estates' are still ' keeping up a cultivation worthy of better 
times.' But this prosperous neighbourhood is not extensive, and the 
next picture presented to our notice is less agreeable : — 

"'Ascending the river still higher, your Commissioners learn that 
the district between Hobaboe Creek and ' Stricken Heuvel' contained, 
in 1829, eight sugar and five coffee and plantain estates, and now there 
remain but three in sugar and four partially cultivated with plantains 
by petty settlers : while the roads, with one or two exceptions, are in 
a state of utter abandonment. Here, as on the opposite bank of the 
river, hordes of squatters have located themselves, who avoid all com- 
munication with Europeans, and have seemingly given themselves up 
altogether to the rude pleasures of a completely savage life.' 

" The west coast of Demerara — the only part of that country which 
still remains unvisited — is described as showing only a diminution of 
fifty per cent, upon its produce of sugar : and with this fact the evidence 
concludes as to one of the three sections into which the colony is 
divided. Does Demerara stand alone in its misfortune ? Again hear 
the report : — 

"'If the present state of the county of Demerary affords cause for 
deep apprehension, your Commissioners find that Essequebo has retro- 
graded to a still more alarming extent. In fact, unless a large and 
speedy supply of labour be obtained to cultivate the deserted fields of 


this once-flourishing district, there is great reason to fear that it will 
relapse into total abandonment.' 

Describing another portion of the colony — 

" They say of one district, ' unless a fresh supply of labour be very 
soon obtained, there is every reason to fear that it will become com- 
pletely abandoned/ Of a second, ' speedy immigration alone can save 
this island from total ruin/ 'The prostrate condition of this once 
beautiful part of the coast/ are the words which begin another para- 
graph, describing another tract of country. Of a fourth, ' the proprie- 
tors on this coast seem to be keeping up a hopeless struggle against 
approaching ruin. Again, 'the once famous Arabian coast, so long 
the boast of the colony, presents now but a mournful picture of de- 
parted prosperity. Here were formerly situated some of the finest 
estates in the country, and a large resident body of proprietors lived 
in the district, and freely expended their incomes on the spot whence 
they derived them/ Once more, the lower part of the coast, after 
passing Devonshire Castle to the river Pomeroon, presents a scene of 
almost total desolation/ Such is Essequibo \" 

"Berbice," says Lord Stanley, "has fared no better : its rural popu- 
lation amounts to 18,000. Of these, 12,000 have withdrawn from the 
estates, and mostly from the neighbourhood of the white man, to enjoy 
a savage freedom of ignorance and idleness, beyond the reach of ex- 
ample and sometimes of control. But, on the condition of the negro 
I shall dwell more at length hereafter ; at present it is the state of 
property with which I have to do. What are the districts which 
together form the county of Berbice ? The Corentyne coast — the Canje 
Creek — East and West banks of the Berbice River — and the West 
coast, where, however, cotton was formerly the chief article produced. 
To each of these respectively the following passages, quoted in order, 

"'The abandoned plantations on this coast,* which if capital and 
labour could be procured, might easily be made very productive, are 
either wholly deserted or else appropriated by hordes of squatters, who 
of course are unable to keep up at their own expense the public roads 
and bridges, and consequently all communication by land between the 
Corentyne and New Amsterdam is nearly at an end. The roads are 
impassable for horses or carriages, while for foot-passengers they are 
extremely dangerous. The number of villagers in this deserted region 
must be upward of 2500, and as the country abounds with fish and 
game, they have no difficulty in making a subsistence ; in fact, the 
Corentyne coast is fast relapsing into a state of nature/ 

" 'Canje Creek was formerly considered a flourishing district of the 
county, and numbered on its east bank seven sugar and three coffee 
estates, and on its west bank eight estates, of which two were in sugar 
and six in coffee, making a total of eighteen plantations. The coffee 
cultivation has long since been entirely abandoned, and of the sugar 
estates but eight still now remain. They are suffering severely for 

• The Corentyne. 


want of labour, and being supported principally by African and Coolie 
immigrants, it is much to be feared that if the latter leave and claim 
their return passages to India, a great part of the district •will become 

"'Under present circumstances, so gloomy is the condition of affairs 
here,* that the two gentlemen whom your Commissioners have ex- 
amined with respect to this district, both concur in predicting " its slow 
but sure approximation to the condition in which civilized man first 
found it.*" 

"'A districtf that in 1829, gave employment to 3635 registered 
slaves, but at the present moment there are not more than 600 labourers 
at work on the few estates still in cultivation, although it is estimated 
there are upwards of 2000 people idling in villages of their own. The 
roads are in many parts several feet under water, and perfect swamps ; 
while in some places the bridges are wanting altogether. In fact, the 
whole district is fast becoming a total wilderness, with the exception 
of the one or two estates which yet continue to struggle on, and which 
are hardly accessible now but by water/ 

"'Except in some of the best villages,!: they care not for back or 
front dams to keep off the water ; their side-lines are disregarded, and 
consequently the drainage is gone ; while in many instances the public 
road is so completely flooded that canoes have to be used as a means 
of transit. The Africans are unhappily following the example of the 
Creoles in this district, and buying land, on which they settle in con- 
tented idleness; and your Commissioners cannot view instances like 
these without the deepest alarm, for if this pernicious habit of squat- 
ting is allowed to extend to the immigrants also, there is no hope for 
the colony/ " 

Under these circumstances it is that the London Times furnishes 
its readers with the following paragraph, — and as that journal cannot 
be regarded as the opponent of the classes which have lately con- 
trolled the legislation of England, we may feel assured that its 
information is to be relied upon : — 

" Our legislation has been dictated by the presumed necessities of 
the African slave. After the Emancipation Act, a large charge was 
assessed upon the colony in aid of civil and religious institutions for 
the benefit of the enfranchised negro, and it was hoped that those 
coloured subjects of the British Crown would soon be assimilated to 
their fellow-citizens. From all the information which has reached us, no 
less than from the visible probabilities of the case, ice are constrained 
to believe that these hopes have been falsified. Tlie negro has not obtained 
with h is freedom any habits of industry or morality. His independence 
is little better than that of an unedptured brute. Having accepted none 
of the restraints of civilization, he is amenable to few of its necessities, 

East bank of Berbice river. f TTest ditto, 

t West coast of Berbice. 


and the wants of his nature are so easily satisfied, that at the present 
rate of wages he is called upon for nothing but fitful or desultory ex- 
ertion. The blacks, therefore, instead of becoming intelligent husband- 
men, have become vagrants and squatters, and it is now apprehended that 
with the failure of cultivation in the island loill come the failure of its 
resources for instructing or controlling its 'population. So imminent does 
this consummation appear, that memorials have been signed by classes 
of colonial society, hitherto standing aloof from politics, and not only 
the bench and the bar, but the bishop, dergy, and the ministers of all de- 
nominations in the island, loithout exception, have recorded their convic- 
tion that in the absence of timely relief, the religious and educational 
institutions of the island must be abandoned, and the masses of the popu- 
lation retrogade to barbarism." 

The Prospective Revieio, (Nov. 1852,) seeing what has happened 

in the British colonies, and speaking of the possibility of a similar 

course of action on this side of the Atlantic, says — 

" "We have had experience enough in our own colonies, not to wish 
to see the experiment tried elsewhere on a larger scale. It is true that 
from some of the smaller islands, where there is a superabundance of 
negro population and no room for squatters, the export of sugar has 
not been diminished : it is true that in Jamaica and Demerara, the 
commercial distress is largely attributable to the folly of the planters — 
who doggedly refuse to accommodate themselves to the new state of 
things, and to entice the negroes from the back settlements by a pro- 
mise of fair wages. But we have no reason to suppose that the whole 
tragi-comedy would not be re-enacted in the Slave States of America, 
if slavery were summarily abolished by act of Congress to-morrow. 
Property among the plantations consists only of land and negroes : 
emancipate the negroes — and the planters have no longer kny capital 
for the cultivation of the land. Put the case of compensation : though 
it be difficult to see whence it could come: there is every probability 
that the planters of Alabama, accustomed all their lives to get black 
labour for nothing, would be as unwilling to pay for it as their com- 
peers in Jamaica : and there is plenty of unowned land on which the 
disbanded gangs might settle and no one question their right. It is 
allowed on all hands that the negroes as a race will not work longer 
than is necessary to supply the simplest comforts of life. It would be 
wonderful were it otherwise. A people have been degraded and ground 
down for a century and a half: systematically kept in ignorance for 
five generations of any needs and enjoyments beyond those of the savage: 
and then it is made matter of complaint that they will not apply them- 
selves to labour for their higher comforts and more refined luxuries, 
of which they cannot know the value !" 

The systematic degradation here referred to is probably quite 
true as regards the British Islands, where 660,000 were all that 
remained of almost two millions that had been imported ; but it is 
quite a mistake to suppose it so in regard to this country, in which 


there are now found ten persons for every one ever imported, and 
all advancing by gradual steps toward civilization and freedom ; and 
yet were the reviewer discoursing of the conduct of the Spanish 
settlers of Hispaniola, he could scarcely speak more disparagingly 
of them than he does in regard to a people that alone has so 
treated the negro race as to enable it to increase in numbers, and 
improve in its physical, moral, and intellectual condition. Had 
he been more fully informed in relation to the proceedings in the 
British colonies, and in these colonies and states, he could scarcely 
have ventured to assert that " the responsibility of having degraded 
the African race rests upon the American people/' — the only people 
among whom they have been improved. Nevertheless, it is right 
and proper to give due weight to all opinions in regard to the ex- 
istence of an evil, and to all recommendations in regard to the mode 
of removal, let them come from what source they may ; and the 
writer of the article from which this passage is taken is certainly 
animated by a somewhat more liberal and catholic spirit than is 
found animating many of his countrymen. 

That the English system in regard to the emancipation of the 
negro has proved a failure is now admitted even by those who most 
warmly advocated the measures that have been pursued. " There 
are many," says the London Times, "who think that, with proper 
regulations, and particularly with a system for the self-enfranchise- 
ment of slaves, we might have brought about the entire emancipa- 
tion of the British "West Indies, with much less injury to the 
property of the planter and to the character of the negro than have 
resulted from the Abolition Act. Perhaps," it continues, "the 
warning will not be lost on the Americans, who may see the 
necessity of putting things in train for the ultimate abolition of 
slavery, and thereby save the sudden shock which the abolition- 
ists may one day bring on all the institutions of the Union and the 
whole fabric of American society." 

The Falmouth [Jamaica] Post, of December 12, 1852, informs us 
that, even now, "in every parish of the island preparations are 
being made for the abandonment of properties that were once 
valuable, but on which cultivation can no longer be continued." 


"In Trelawny," it continues, "many estates have been thrown 
up during the last two years, and the exportation to the United 
States of America, within a few months, of upward of 80,000 
tons of copper, which was used for the manufacture of sugar 
and rum, is one of the ' signs of the times/ to which the attention 
of the legislature should be seriously directed, in providing for 
the future maintenance of our various institutions, both public 
and parochial. Unless the salaries of all official characters are 
reduced, it will be utterly impossible to carry on the government 
of the colony." 

Eighty thousand tons of machinery heretofore used in aid of 
labour, or nearly one ton for every four persons on the island, ex- 
ported within a few months ! The Bande Noire of France pulled 
down dwelling-houses and sold the materials, but as they left the 
machinery used by the labourers, their operations were less injurious 
than have been those of the negroes of Jamaica, the demand for 
whose labour must diminish with every step in the progress of the 
abandonment of land and the destruction of machinery. Under 
such circumstances we can feel little surprise at learning that every 
thing tends towards barbarism ; nor is it extraordinary that a writer 
already quoted, and who is not to be suspected of any pro-slavery 
tendencies, puts the question, "Is it enough that they [the Ame- 
ricans] simply loose their chain and turn them adrift lower/' as 
he is pleased to say, "than they found them?"* It is not 
enough. They need to be prepared for freedom. "Immediate 
emancipation," as he says, "solves only the simplest forms of the 

The land-owner has been ruined and the labourer is fast relaps- 
ing into barbarism, and yet in face of this fact the land-owners of 
the Southern States are branded throughout the world as "tyrants" 
and "slave-breeders," because they will not follow in the same 
direction. It is in face of this great fact that the people of the 
North are invited to join in a crusade against their brethren of 
the South because they still continue to hold slaves, and that the 

* Prospective Review, Nov. 1852, 504. 


men of the South are themselves so frequently urged to assent to 
immediate and unconditional emancipation. 

In all this there may be much philanthropy, but there is cer- 
tainly much error, — and with a view to determine where it lies, as well 
as to show what is the true road to emancipation, it is proposed to 
inquire what has been, in the various countries of the world, the 
course by which men have passed from poverty to wealth, from igno- 
rance and barbarism to civilization, and from slavery to freedom. 
That done, we may next inquire for the causes now operating to 
prevent the emancipation of the negro of America and the occupant 
of "the sweater's den" in London; and if they can once be ascer- 
tained, it will be then easy to determine what are the measures 
needful to be adopted with a view to the establishment of freedom 
throughout the world. 



The first poor cultivator is surrounded by land unoccupied. 
The more of it at his command the poorer he is. Compelled to 
work alone, he is a slave to his necessities, and he can neither roll 
nor raise a log with which to build himself a house. He makes 
himself a hole in the ground, which serves in place of one. He 
cultivates the poor soil of the hills to obtain a little corn, with 
which to eke out the supply of food derived from snaring the game 
in his neighbourhood. His winter's supply is deposited in another 
hole, liable to injury from the water which filters through the 
light soil into which alone he can penetrate. He is in hourly 
danger of starvation. At length, however, his sons grow up. 
They combine their exertions with his, and now obtain something 
like an axe and a spade. They can sink deeper into the soil; and 
can cut logs, and build something like a house. They obtain 


more corn and more game, and they can preserve it better. The 
danger of starvation is diminished. Being no longer forced to 
depend for fuel upon the decayed wood which was all their father 
could command, they are in less danger of perishing from cold in 
the elevated ground which, from necessity, they occupy. With 
the growth of the family new soils are cultivated, each in succes- 
sion yielding a larger return to labour, and they obtain a constantly 
increasing supply of the necessaries of life from a surface diminish- 
ing in its ratio to the number to be fed; and thus with every 
increase in the return to labour the power of combining their 
exertions is increased. 

If we look now to the solitary settler of the West, even where 
provided with both axe and spade, we shall see him obtaining, with 
extreme difficulty, the commonest log hut. A neighbour arrives, 
and their combined efforts produce a new house with less than half 
the labour required for the first. That neighbour brings a horse, 
and he makes something like a cart. The product of their labour 
is now ten times greater than was that of the first man working by 
himself. More neighbours come, and new houses are needed. A 
" bee" is made, and by the combined effort of the neighbourhood 
the third house is completed in a day; whereas the first cost 
months, and the second weeks, of far more severe exertion. These 
new neighbours have brought ploughs and horses, and now better 
soils are cultivated, and the product of labour is again increased, 
as is the power to preserve the surplus for winter's use. The path 
becomes a road. Exchanges increase. The store makes its appear- 
ance. Labour is rewarded by larger returns, because aided by 
better machinery applied to better soils. The town grows up. 
Each successive addition to the population brings a consumer and 
a producer. The shoemaker desires leather and corn in exchange 
for his shoes. The blacksmith requires fuel and food, and the 
farmer wants shoes for his horses; and with the increasing facility 
of exchange more labour is applied to production, and the reward 
of labour rises, producing new desires, and requiring more and 
larger exchanges. The road becomes a turnpike, and the wagon 
and horses are seen upon it. The town becomes a city, and better 


soils are cultivated for the supply of its markets, while the railroad 
facilitates exchanges with towns and cities yet more distant. The 
tendency to union and to combination of exertion thus grows with 
the growth of wealth. In a state of extreme poverty it cannot be 
developed. The insignificant tribe of savages that starves on the 
product of the superficial soil of hundreds of thousands of acres of 
land, looks with jealous eye on every intruder, knowing that each 
new mouth requiring to be fed tends to increase the difficulty of 
obtaining subsistence; whereas the farmer rejoices in the arrival 
of the blacksmith and the shoemaker, because they come to eat 
on the spot the corn which heretofore he has carried ten, twenty, 
or thirty miles to market, to exchange for shoes for himself and 
his horses. With each new consumer of his products that arrives 
he is enabled more and more to concentrate his action and his 
thoughts upon his home, while each new arrival tends to increase 
his 'power of consuming commodities brought from a distance, be- 
cause it tends to diminish his necessity for seeking at a distance a 
market for the produce of his farm. Give to the poor tribe spades, 
and the knowledge how to use them, and the power of association 
will begin. The supply of food becoming more abundant, they 
hail the arrival of the stranger who brings them knives and clothing 
to be exchanged for skins and corn ; wealth grows, and the habit 
of association — the first step toward civilization — arises. 

The little tribe is, however, compelled to occupy the higher 
lands. The lower ones are a mass of dense forests and dreary 
swamps, while at the foot of the hill runs a river, fordable but for 
a certain period of the year. On the hillside, distant a few miles, 
is another tribe ; but communication between them is difficult, be- 
cause, the river bottom being yet uncleared, roads cannot be made, 
and bridges are as yet unthought of. Population and wealth, 
however, continue to increase, and the lower lands come gradually 
into cultivation, yielding larger returns to labour, and enabling the 
tribe to obtain larger supplies of food with less exertion, and to 
spare labour to be employed for other purposes. Roads are made 
in the direction of the river bank. Population increases more 
rapidly because of the increased supplies of food and the increased 



power of preserving it, and wealth grows still more rapidly. The 
river bank at length is reached, and some of the best lauds are 
now cleared. Population grows again, and a new element of wealth 
is seen in the form of a bridge; and now the two little communities 
are enabled to communicate more freely with each other. One 
rejoices in the possession of a wheelwright, while the other has a 
windmill. One wants carts, and the other has corn to grind. 
One has cloth to spare, while the other has more leather than is 
needed for its purpose. Exchanges increase, and the little town 
grows because of the increased amount of trade. Wealth grows 
still more rapidly, because of new modes of combining labour, by 
which that of all is rendered more productive. Roads are now 
made in the direction of other communities, and the work is per- 
formed rapidly, because the exertions of the two are now combined, 
and because the machinery used is more efficient. One after 
another disappear forests and swamps that have occupied the fertile 
lands, separating ten, twenty, fifty, or five hundred communities, 
which now are brought into connection with each other ; and with 
each step labour becomes more and more productive, and is re- 
warded with better food, clothing, and shelter. Famine and 
disease disappear, life is prolonged, population is increased, and 
therewith the tendency to that combination of exertion amoug the 
individuals composing these communities, which is the distinguish- 
ing characteristic of civilization in all nations and in all periods of 
the world. With further increase of population and wealth, the 
desires of man, and his ability to gratify them, both increase. 
The nation, thus formed, has more corn than it needs; but it has 
no cotton, and its supply of wool is insufficient. The neighbouring 
nation has cotton and wool, and needs corn. They are still divided, 
however, by broad forests, deep swamps, and rapid rivers. Popu- 
lation increases, and the great forests and swamps disappear, giving 
place to rich farms, through which broad roads are made, with im- 
mense bridges, enabling the merchant to transport his wool 
and his cotton to exchange with his now rich neighbours for their 
surplus corn or sugar. Xations now combine their exertions, and 
wealth grows with still increased rapidity, facilitating the drainage 


of marshes, and thus bringing into activity tbe richest soils; while 
coal-mines cheaply furnish the fuel for converting limestone into 
lime, and iron ore into axes and spades, and into rails for the new 
roads needed for transporting to market the vast products of 
the fertile soils now in use, and to bring back the large supplies 
of sugar, tea, coffee, and the thousand other products of distant 
lands with which intercourse now exists. At each step population 
and wealth and happiness and prosperity take a new bound ; and 
men realize with difficulty the fact that the country which now 
affords to tens of millions all the necessaries, comforts, conveniences, 
and luxuries of life, is the same that, when the superabundant land 
was occupied by tens of thousands only, gave to that limited num- 
ber scanty supplies of the worst food ; so scanty that famines were 
frequent and sometimes so severe that starvation was followed in 
its wake by pestilence, which, at brief intervals, swept from the 
earth the population of the little and scattered settlements, among 
which the people were forced to divide themselves when they cul- 
tivated only the poor soils of the hills. 

The course of events here described is in strict accordance with 
the facts observed in every country as it has grown in wealth and 
population. The early settlers of all the countries of the world are 
seen to have been slaves to their necessities — and often slaves to 
their neighbours ; whereas, with the increase of numbers and the 
increased power of cultivation, they are seen passing from the 
poorer soils of the hills to the fertile soils of the river bottoms and 
the marshes, with constant increase in the return to labour, and 
constantly increasing power to determine for themselves for whom 
they will work, and what shall be their reward. This view is, 
however, in direct opposition to the theory of the occupation of 
land taught in the politico-economical school of which Malthus 
and Eicardo were the founders. By them we are assured that the 
settler commences always on the low and rich lands, and that, as 
population increases, men are required to pass toward the higher 
and poorer lands — and of course up the hill — with constantly 
diminishing return to labour, and thus that, as population grows, 
man becomes more and more a slave to his necessities; and to those 

40 THE 

who have power to administer to his wants, involving a necessity 
for dispersion throughout the world in quest of the rich lands 
upon which the early settler is supposed to commence his opera- 
tions. It is in reference to this theory that Mr. J. S. Mill says — 

" This general law of agricultural industry is the most important 
proposition in political economy. If the law were different, almost 
all the phenomena of the production and distribution of wealth would 
he other than they are." 

In the view thus presented by Mr. Mill there is no exaggera- 
tion. The law of the occupation of the land by man lies at the 
foundation of all political economy; and if we desire to know what 
it is that tends to the emancipation of the people of the earth from 
slavery, we must first satisfy ourselves that the theory of Messrs. 
Malthus and Ricardo has not only no foundation in fact, but that 
the law is directly the reverse, and tends, therefore, toward the 
adoption of measures directly opposed to those that would be needed 
were that theory true. The great importance of the question will 
excuse the occupation of a few minutes of the reader's attention in 
placing before him some facts tending to enable him to satisfy him- 
self in regard to the universality of the law now offered for his 
consideration. Let him inquire where he may, he will find that 
the early occupant did not commence in the fiats, or on the heavily 
timbered land, but that he did commence on the higher land, where 
the timber was lighter, and the place for his house was dry. With 
increasing ability, he is found draining the swamps, clearing the 
heavy timber, turning up the marl, or burning the lime, and thus 
acquiring control over more fertile soils, yielding a constant in- 
crease in the return to labour. Let him then trace the course of 
early settlement, and he will find that while it has often followed the 
course of the streams, it has always avoided the swamps and river 
bottoms. The earliest settlements of this country were on the poor- 
est lands of the Union — those of New England. So was it in 
New York, where we find the railroads running through the lower 
and richer, and yet uncultivated, lands, while the higher lands 
right and left have long been cultivated. So is it now in Pennsyl- 
vania, Virginia, and Ohio. In South Carolina it has been made 


the subject of remark, in a recent discourse, that their predecessors 
did not select the rich lands, and that millions of acres of the finest 
meadow-land in that State still remain untouched. The settler in 
the prairies commences on the higher and drier land, leaving the 
wet prairie and the slough — the richest soil — for his successors. 
The lands below the mouth of the Ohio are among the richest in 
the world ; yet they are unoccupied, and will continue so to be until 
wealth and population shall have greatly increased. So is it now 
with the low and rich lands of Mexico. So was it in South America, 
the early cultivation of which was upon the poor lands of the west- 
ern slope, Peru and Chili, while the rich lands of the Amazon and 
the La Plata remained, as most of them still remain, a wilderness. 
In the West Indies, the small dry islands were early occupied, 
while Porto Piico and Trinidad, abounding in rich soils, remained 
untouched. The early occupants of England were found on the 
poorer lands of the centre and south of the kingdom, as were those 
of Scotland in the Highlands, or on the little rocky islands of the 
Channel. Mona's Isle was celebrated while the rich soil of the 
Lothians remained an almost unbroken mass of forest, and the 
morasses of Lancashire were the terror of travellers long after 
Hampshire had been cleared and cultivated. If the reader desire 
to find the birthplace of King Arthur and the earliest seat of 
English power, he must look to the vicinity of the royal castle o£ 
Tintagel, in the high and dry Cornwall. Should he desire other 
evidence of the character of the soil cultivated at the period when 
land abounded and men were few in number, he may find it in the 
fact that in some parts of England there is scarcely a hill top 
that does not bear evidence of early occupation,* And in the further 
fact that the mounds, or barrows, are almost uniformly composed of 
stone, because those memorials " are found most frequently where 
stone was more readily obtained than earth.""}" Caesar found the 
Gauls occupying the high lands surrounding the Alps, while the 
rich Venetia remained a marsh. The occupation of the Campagna 

• The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon, by Thomas "Wright, p. 87. 
f Ibid. p. 56. 



followed long after that of the Sanmite hills, and the earliest set- 
tlers of the Peloponnesus cultivated the high and dry Arcadia, 
while the cities of the Argive kings of the days of Homer, Mycenae 
and Tiryns, are found in eastern Argolis, a country so poor as to 
have been abandoned prior to the days of the earliest authentic 
history. The occupation of the country around Meroe, and of the 
Thebaid, long preceded that of the lower lands surrounding Mem- 
phis, or the still lower and richer ones near Alexandria. The 
negro is found in the higher portions of Africa, while the rich 
lands along the river courses are uninhabited. The little islands 
of Australia, poor and dry, are occupied by a race far surpassing in 
civilization those of the neighbouring continent, who have rich 
soils at command. The poor Persia is cultivated, while the rich 
soils of the ancient Babylonia are only ridden over by straggling 
hordes of robbers.* Layard had to seek the hills when he desired 
to find a people at home. Affghanistan and Cashmere were early oc- 
cupied, and thence were supplied the people who moved toward 
the deltas of the Ganges and the Indus, much of both of which still 
remains, after so many thousands of years, in a state of wilderness. 
Look where we may, it is the same. The land obeys the same great 
and universal law that governs light, power, and heat. The man who 
works alone and has poor machinery must cultivate poor land, and 
content himself with little light, little power, and little heat, and 
those, like his food, obtained in exchange for much labour; while he 
who works in combination with his fellow-men may have good 
machinery, enabling him to clear and cultivate rich land, giving 
him much food, and enabling him to obtain much light, much heat, 
and much power, in exchange for little labour. The first is a crea- 
ture of necessity — a slave — and as such is man universally regarded 
by Mr. Ricardo and his followers. The second is a being of 
power — a freeman — and as such was man regarded by Adam Smith, 
who taught that the more men worked in combination with each 

* Where population and wealth diminish, the rich soils are abandoned and men 
retire to the poorer ones, as is seen in the abandonment of the delta of Egypt, 
of the Cainpagna, of the valley of Mexico, and of the valleys of the Tigris and 
the Euphrates. 


other, the greater would be the facility of obtaining food and all 
other of the necessaries and comforts of life — and the more widely 
they were separated, the less would be the return to labour and 
capital, and the smaller the power of production, as common sense 
teaches every man must necessarily be the case. 

It will now readily be seen how perfectly accurate was Mr. Mill 
in his assertion that, " if the law were different, almost all the 
phenomena of the production and distribution of wealth would be 
other than they are." The doctrine of Malthus and Ricardo tends 
to make the labourer a slave to the 'owner of landed or other 
capital ; but happily it has no foundation in fact, and therefore the 
natural laws of the production and distribution of wealth tend not 
to slavery, but to freedom. 



The first poor cultivator commences, as we have seen, his opera- 
tions on the hillside. Below him are lands upon which have been 
carried by force of water the richer portions of those above, as well 
as the leaves of trees, and the fallen trees themselves, all of which 
have from time immemorial rotted and become incorporated with 
the earth, and thus have been produced soils fitted to yield the 
largest returns to labour; yet for this reason are they inaccessible. 
Their character exhibits itself in the enormous trees with which 
they are covered, and in their power of retaining the water neces- 
sary to aid the process of decomposition, but the poor settler wants 
the power either to clear them of their timber, or to drain them 
of the superfluous moisture. He begins on the hillside, but by 
degrees he obtains better machinery of cultivation, and with each 
step in this direction we find him descending the hill and obtaining 
larger return to labour. He has more food for himself, and he has 
now the means of feeding a horse or an ox. Aided by the manure 


that is thus yielded to him by the better lands, we see him next 
retracing his steps, improving the hillside, and compelling it to 
yield a return double that which he at first obtained. With each 
step down the hill, he obtains still larger reward for his labour, 
and at each he returns, with increased power, to the cultivation of 
the original poor soil. He has now horses and oxen, and while by 
their aid he extracts from the new soils the manure that had 
accumulated for ages, he has also carts and wagons to carry it up 
the hill; and at each step his reward is increased, while his labours 
are lessened. He goes back to the sand and raises the marl, with 
which he covers the surface ; or he returns to the clay and sinks 
into the limestone, by aid of which he doubles its product. He is 
all the time making a machine which feeds him while he makes it, 
and which increases in its powers the more he takes from it. At 
first it was worthless. Having now fed and clothed him for years, 
it has acquired a large value, and those who might desire to use it 
would pay him a large rent for permission so to do. 

The earth is a great machine given to man to be fashioned to his 
purpose. The more he works it, the better it feeds him, because 
each step is but preparatory to a new one more productive than 
the last — requiring less labour and yielding larger return. The 
labour of clearing is great, yet the return is small. The earth is 
covered with stumps, and filled with roots. With each year the 
roots decay, and the ground becomes enriched, while the labour of 
ploughing is diminished. At length, the stumps disappear, and 
the return is doubled, while the labour is less by one-half than at 
first. To forward this process the owner has done nothing but 
crop the ground, nature having done the rest. The aid he thus 
obtains from her yields him as much food as in the outset was 
obtained by the labour of felling the trees. This, however, is not 
all. The surplus thus yielded has given him means of improving 
the poorer lands, by furnishing manure with which to enrich them, 
and thus has he trebled his original return without further labour; 
for that which he saves in working the new soils suffices to carry 
the manure to the older ones. He is obtaining a daily increased 
power over the various treasures of the earth. 


With every operation connected with the fashioning of the earth, 
the result is the same. The first step is, invariably, the most 
costly one, and the least productive. The first drain commences 
near the stream, where the labour is heaviest. It frees from water 
but a few acres. A little higher, the same quantity of labour, 
profiting by what has been already done, frees twice the number. 
Agaiu the number is doubled ; and now the most perfect system 
of thorough drainage may be established with less labour than was 
at first required for one of the most imperfect kind. To bring the 
lime into connection with the clay, upon fifty acres, is lighter 
labour than was the clearing of a single one, yet the process doubles 
the return for each acre of fifty. The man who needs a little fuel 
for his own use, expends much labour in opening the neighbouring 
vein of coal ; but to enlarge this, so as to double the product, is a 
work of comparatively small labour. To sink a shaft to the first 
vein below the surface, and erect a steam-engine, are expensive 
operations ; but these once accomplished, every future step becomes 
more productive, while less costly. To sink to the next vein 
below, and to tunnel to another, are trifles in comparison with the 
first, yet each furnishes a return equally large. The first line of 
railroad runs by houses and towns occupied by two or three hun- 
dred thousand persons. Half a dozen little branches, costing 
together far less labour than the first, bring into connection with it 
half a million, or perhaps a million. The trade increases, and a 
second track, a third, or a fourth, may be required. The original 
one facilitates the passage of the materials and the removal of the 
obstructions, and three new ones may now be made with less labour 
than was at first required for a single one. 

All labour thus expended in fashioning the great machine is but 
the prelude to the application of further labour, with still increased 
returns. With each such application, wages rise, and hence it is 
that portions of the machine, as it exists, invariably exchange, 
when brought to market, for far less labour than they have cost. 
There is thus a steady decline of the value of capital in labour, and 
a daily increase in the power of labour over capital, and with each 
step in this direction man becomes more free. The man who 


cultivated the thin soils was happy to obtain a hundred bushels for 
his year's work. With the progress of himself and his neighbour 
down the hill into the more fertile soils, wages have risen, and 
two hundred bushels are now required. His farm will yield a 
thousand bushels ; but it requires the labour of four men, who 
must have two hundred bushels each, and the surplus is but two 
hundred bushels. At twenty years' purchase this gives a capital 
of four thousand bushels, or the equivalent of twenty years' wages; 
whereas it has cost, in the labour of himself, his sons, and his 
assistants, the equivalent of a hundred years of labour, or perhaps 
far more. During all this time, however, it has fed and clothed 
them all, and the farm has been produced by the insensible con- 
tributions made from year to year, unthought of and unfelt. 

It has become worth twenty years' wages, because its owner has 
for years taken from it a thousand bushels annually ; but when it 
had lain for centuries accumulating wealth it was worth nothing. 
Such is the case with the earth everywhere. The more that is taken 
from it the more there is to be returned, and the greater our power 
to draw upon it. When the coal-mines of England were untouched, 
they were valueless. Now their value is almost countless; yet the 
land contains abundant supplies for thousands of years. Iron ore, 
a century since, was a drug, and leases were granted at almost 
nominal rents. Now, such leases are deemed equivalent to the 
possession of large fortunes, notwithstanding the great quantities 
that have been removed, although the amount of ore now known 
to exist is probably fifty times greater than it was then. 

The earth is the sole producer. From her man receives the corn 
and the cotton-wool, and all that he can do is to change them in 
their form, or in their place. The first he may convert into bread, 
and the last into cloth, and both may be transported to distant 
places, but there his power ends. He can make no addition to their 
quantity. A part of his labour is applied to the preparation and 
improvement of the great machine of production, and this produces 
changes that are permanent. The drain, once cut, remains a drain; 
and the limestone, once reduced to lime, never again becomes 
limestone. It passes into the food of man and animals, and ever 


after takes its part in the same round with the clay with which it 
has been incorporated. The iron rusts and gradually passes into 
soil, to take its part with the clay and the lime. That portion of 
his labour gives him wages while preparing the machine for greater 
future production. That other portion which he expends on fa- 
shioning and exchanging the products of the machine, produces 
temporary results and gives him wages alone. Whatever tends to 
diminish the quantity of labour required for the production of food 
tends to enable him to give more to the preparation of machinery 
required for the fashioning and exchanging of the products ; and 
that machinery in its turn tends to augment the quantity that may 
be given to increasing the amount of products, and to preparing 
the great machine ; and thus, while increasing the present return 
to labour, preparing for a future further increase. 

The first poor cultivator obtains a hundred bushels for his year's 
wages. To pound this between two stones requires many days of 
labour, and the work is not half done. Had he a mill in the 
neighbourhood he would have better flour, and he would have 
almost the whole of those days to bestow upon his land. He pulls 
up his grain. Had he a scytlie, he would have more time for the 
preparation of the machine of production. He loses his axe, and 
it requires days of himself and his horse on the road, to obtain 
another. His machine loses the time and the manure, both of 
which would have been saved had the axe-maker been at hand. 
The real advantage derived from the mill and the scythe, and from 
the proximity of the axe-maker, consists simply in the power which 
they afford him to devote his labour more and more to the prepara- 
tion of the great machine of production, and such is the case with 
all the machinery of conversion and exchange. The plough 
enables him to do as much in one day as with a spade he could do 
in five. He saves four days for drainage. The steam-engine 
drains as much as, without it, could be drained by thousands of 
days of labour. He has more leisure to marl or lime his land. 
The more he can extract from his property the greater is its value, 
because every thing he takes is, by the very act of taking it, fa- 
shioned to aid further production. The machine, therefore, improves 


by use, whereas spades, and ploughs, and steam-engines, and all 
other of the instruments used by man, are but the various forms into 
which he fashions parts of the great original machine, to disappear 
in the act of being used ; as much so as food, though not so 
rapidly. The earth is the great labour-savings' bank, and the 
value to man of all other machines is in the direct ratio of their tend- 
ency to aid him in increasing his deposites in that only bank whose 
dividends are perpetually increasing, while its capital is perpetually 
doubling. That it may continue for ever so to do, all that it asks 
is that it shall receive back the refuse of its produce, the manure ) 
and that it may do so, the consumer and the producer must take 
their places by each other. That done, every change that is 
effected becomes permanent, and tends to facilitate other and 
greater changes. The whole business of the farmer consists in 
making and improving soils, and the earth rewards him for his 
kindness by giving him more and more food the more attention 
he bestows upon her. All that he receives from her must be re- 
garded as a loan, and when he fails to pay his debts, she starves 
him out. 

The absolute necessity for returning to the land the manure 
yielded by its products is so generally admitted that it would ap- 
pear scarcely necessary to do more than state the fact; for every 
land-owner knows that when he grants the lease of a farm, one of 
the conditions he desires to insert is, that all the hay that is made 
shall be fed upon the land, and that manure shall be purchased to 
supply the waste resulting from the sale of corn or flax from off 
the land. In order, however, that it may be so supplied, it is in- 
dispensable that the place of consumption shall not be far distant 
from the place of production, as otherwise the cost of transporta- 
tion will be greater than the value of the manure. In a recent 
work on the agriculture of Mecklenburgh, it is stated that a 
quantity of grain that would be worth close to market fifteen hun- 
dred dollars would be worth nothing at a distance of fifty German, 
or about two hundred English miles, from it, as the whole value 
would be absorbed in the cost of transporting the grain to market 
and the manure from market — and that the manure which close to 


the town would be worth five dollars to the farmer would be worth 
nothing at a distance of 4f German, or 19 English miles from it — 
and that thus the whole question of the value of land and the wealth 
of its owner was dependent upon its distance from the place at 
which its products could be exchanged. At a greater distance 
than 28 German, or 112 English miles, in Mecklenburgh, the land 
ceases to yield rent, because it cannot be cultivated without loss. 
As we approach the place of exchange the value of land increases, 
from the simultaneous action of two causes : First, a greater variety 
of commodities can be cultivated, and the advantage resulting from 
a rotation of crops is well known. At a distance, the farmer can 
raise only those of which the earth yields but little, and which are 
valuable in proportion to their little bulk — as, for instance, wheat or 
cotton; but near the place of exchange he may raise potatoes, turnips, 
cabbages, and hay, of which the bulk is great in proportion to the 
value. Second, the cost of returning the manure to the land in- 
creases as the value of the products of land diminishes with the in- 
crease of distance ; and from the combination of these two causes, 
land in Mecklenburgh that would be worth, if close to the town 
or city, an annual rent of 29,808 dollars, would be worth at a dis- 
tance of but 4 German, or 16 English, miles, only 7,467 dollars. 

We see thus how great is the tendency to the growth of wealth 
as men are enabled more and more to combine their exertions with 
those of their fellow-men, consuming on or near the land the products 
of the land, and enabling the farmer, not only to repair readily the 
exhaustion caused by each successive crop, but also to call to his aid 
the services of the chemist in the preparation of artificial manures, 
as well as to call into activity the mineral ones by which he is 
almost everywhere surrounded. We see, too, how much it must 
be opposed to the interests of every community to have its products 
exported in their rude state, and thus to have its land exhausted. 
The same author from whom the above quotations have been made 
informs us that when the manure is not returned to the land the 
yield must diminish from year to year, until at length it will not 
be more than one-fourth of what it had originally been : and this is 
in accordance with all observation. 



The natural tendency of the loom and the anvil to seek to take 
their place by the side of the plough and harrow, is thus exhibited 
by Adam Smith : — 

" An inland country, naturally fertile aud easily cultivated, pro- 
duces a great surplus of provisions beyond what is necessary for 
maintaining the cultivators ; and on account of the expense of land 
carriage, and inconveniency of river navigation, it may frequently be 
difficult to send this surplus abroad. Abundance, therefore, renders 
provisions cheap, and encourages a great number of workmen to settle 
in the neighbourhood, who find that their industry can there procure 
them more of the necessaries and conveniences of life than in other 
places. They vrork up the materials of manufacture which the land 
produces, and exchange their finished vrork, or, what is the same thing, 
the price of it, for more materials and provisions. They give a new 
value to the surplus part of the rude produce, by saving the expense of 
carrying it to the waterside, or to some distant market ; and they furnish 
the cultivators with something in exchange for it, that is either useful 
or agreeable to them, upon easier terms than they could have obtained 
it before. Tlie cultivators get a better price for their surplus produce, and 
can purchase cheaper other conveniences which they have occasion for. 
They are thus both encouraged and enabled to increase this surplus 
produce by a further improvement and better cultivation of the land ; 
and as the fertility of the land has given birth to the manufacture, so the 
progress of the manufacture reacts upon the land, and increases still 
furtJier its fertility. The manufacturers first supply the neighbour- 
hood, and afterward, as their work improves and refines, more distant 
markets. For though neither the rude produce, nor even the coarse 
■manufacture, could, without the greatest difficulty, support the expense of 
a considerable land carriage, the refned and improved manufacture easily 
may. In a small bulk it frequently contains the price of a great 
quantity of the raw produce. A piece of fine cloth, for example, which 
weighs only eighty pounds, contains in it the price, not only of eighty 
pounds of wool, but sometimes of several thousand weight of corn, the 
maintenance of the different working people, and of their immediate 
employers. The corn which could with difficulty have been carried abroad in 
its own shape, is in this manner virtually exported in that of the complete 
manufacture, and may easily be sent to the remotest corners of the world." 

Again : 

" The greater the number and revenue of the inhabitants of the 
town, the more extensive is the market which it affords to those of the 
country ; and the more extensive that market, it is always the more 
advantageous to a great number. The corn which grows within a 
mile of the town, sells there for the same price with that which comes 
from twenty miles distance. But the price of the latter must, gene- 
rally, not only pay the expense of raising it and bringing it to market, 
but afford, too, the ordinary profits of agriculture to the farmer. The 
proprietors and cultivators of the country, therefore, which lies in the 
neighbourhood of the town, over and above the ordinary profits of 


agriculture, gain, in the price of what they sell, the whole value of the 
carriage of the like produce that is brought from more distant parts ; 
and they save, besides, the whole value of this carriage in the price 
of what they buy. Compare the cultivation of the lands in the neigh- 
bourhood of any considerable town, with that of those which lie at 
some distance from it, and you will easily satisfy yourself how much 
the country is benefited by the commerce of the town/' 

These views are in perfect accordance with the facts. Th« 
labourer rejoices when the market for his labour is brought to his 
door by the erection of a mill or a furnace, or the construction of 
a road. The farmer rejoices in the opening of a market for labour 
at his door giving him a market for his food. His land rejoices in 
the home consumption of the products it has yielded, for its owner 
is thereby enabled to return to it the refuse of its product in the 
form of manure. The planter rejoices in the erection of a mill in 
his neighbourhood, giving him a market for his cotton and his 
food. The parent rejoices when a market for their labour enables 
his sons and his daughters to supply themselves with food and 
clothing. Every one rejoices in the growth of a home market for 
labour and its products, for trade is then increasing daily and 
rapidly ; and every one mourns the diminution of the home market, 
for it is one the deficiency of which cannot be supplied. 

With each step in this direction man becomes more and more free 
as land becomes more valuable and labour becomes more produc- 
tive, and as the land becomes more divided. The effect of this upon 
both the man and the land is thus exhibited by Dr. Smith : — 

"A small proprietor, who knows every part of his little terri- 
tory, views it with all the affection which property, especially small 
property, naturally inspires, and who upon that account takes 
pleasure not only in cultivating, but in adorning it, is generally of all 
improvers the most industrious, the most intelligent, and the most 

The tendency of the land to become divided as wealth and popu- 
lation increase will be obvious to the reader on an examination of 
the facts of daily occurrence in and near a growing town or city j 
and the contrary tendency to the consolidation of land in few hands 
may be seen in the neighbourhood of all declining towns or cities, 
and throughout all declining states.* 

* The land of England itself has become and is becoming more consolidated, 
the cause of which will be shown in a future chapter. 




The proximity of the market enables the farmer not only to 
enrich his land and to obtain from it far more than he could other- 
wise do, but it also produces a demand for many things that would 
otherwise be wasted. In the West, men set no value upon straw, 
and in almost every part of this country the waste arising out of 
the absence of a market for any commodities but those which can 
be carried to a distance, must strike every traveller. Close to the 
town or city, almost every thing has some value. So too with 
labour, the value of which, like that of land, tends to increase with 
every increase in the facility of exchanging its products. 

The solitary settler has to occupy the spots that, with his rude 
machinery, he can cultivate. Having neither horse nor cart, he 
carries home his crop upon his shoulders, as is now done in many 
parts of India. He carries a hide to the place of exchange, distant, 
perhaps, fifty miles, to obtain for it leather, or shoes. Population 
increases, and roads are made. The fertile soils are cultivated. 
The store and the mill come nearer to him, and he obtains shoes 
and flour with the use of less machinery of exchange. He has 
more leisure for the improvement of his land, and the re- 
turns to labour increase. More people now obtain food from the 
same surface, and new places of exchange appear. The wool is, on 
the spot, converted into cloth, and he exchanges directly with 
the clothier. The saw-mill is at hand, and he exchanges with the 
sawyer. The tanner gives him leather for his hides, and the paper- 
maker gives him paper for his rags. With each of these changes 
he has more and more of both time and manure to devote to the 
preparation of the great food-making machine, and with each year 
the returns are larger. His power to command the use of the 
machinery of exchange increases, but his necessity therefor dimi- 


nishes, for with each there is an increasing tendency toward having 
the consumer placed side by side with the producer, and with each 
he can devote more and more of his time and mind to the business 
of fashioning the great machine to which he is indebted for food 
and clothing ; and thus the increase of a consuming population is 
essential to the progress of production. 

Diversification of employments, resulting from combination of 
action, thus enables men to economize labour and to increase pro- 
duction. Increased production, on the other hand, makes a demand 
for labour. The more wheat raised and the more cloth made, the 
more there will be to give in exchange for labour, the greater 
will be the number of persons seeking for labourers, and the greater 
will be the power of men to determine for themselves the mode in 
which they will employ their time or their talents. If, therefore, 
we desire to see men advance in freedom, we must endeavour to 
increase the productive power ; and that, as we see, grows with the 
growth of the power to improve the land, while it diminishes with 
every diminution in the power to return to the land the manure 
yielded by its products. In purely agricultural countries there is 
little demand for labour, and it always tends to diminish, as may 
be proved by any reader of this volume who may chance to occupy a 
purely agricultural neighbourhood. Let him look around him, and 
he will, without difficulty, find hundreds of men, and hundreds of 
women and children, wasting more time than would, if properly em- 
ployed, purchase twice the clothing and twice the machinery of pro- 
duction they are now enabled to obtain. Why, however, he will pro- 
bably ask, is it that they do so waste it ? Because there is no demand 
for it, except in agriculture ; and when that is the case, there must 
necessarily be great waste of time. At one season of the year the 
farm requires much labour, while at another it needs but little ; 
and if its neighbours are all farmers, they are all in the same 
situation. If the weather is fit for ploughing, they and their 
horses and men are all employed. If it is not, they are all idle. 
In winter they have all of them little to do ; in harvest-time they 
are all overrun with work; and crops frequently perish on the 
ground for want of the aid required for making them. Now, it 


would seem to be quite clear that if there existed some other mode 
of employment that would find a demand for the surplus labour of 
the neighbourhood, all would be benefited. The man who had a 
day's labour to sell could sell it, and, with the proceeds of the 
labour of a very few days, now wasted, could purchase clothing 
for his children, if, indeed, the labour of those children, now also 
wasted, did not more than pay for all the clothing, not only of 
themselves, but of his wife and himself. 

In order that the reader may see clearly how this state of 
things affects all labourers, even those who are employed, we must 
now ask him to examine with us the manner in which the prices 
of all commodities are affected by excess of supply over demand, 
or of demand over supply. It is well known to every farmer, that 
when the crop of peaches, or of potatoes, is, in even a very small 
degree, in excess of the regular demand, the existence of that small 
surplus so far diminishes the price that the larger crop will not 
yield as much as a much smaller one would have done. It is also 
known to them that when the crop is a little less than is required 
to supply the demand, the advance in price is large, and the farmer 
then grows rich. In this latter case the purchasers are looking for 
the sellers, whereas in the former one the sellers have to seek the 
buyers. Now, labour is a commodity that some desire to sell, and 
that others desire to buy, precisely as is the case with potatoes ; 
but it has this disadvantage when compared with any other com- 
modity, that it is less easily transferred from the place where it 
exists to that at which it is needed, and that the loss resulting 
from the absence of demand on the spot is greater than in refer- 
ence to any other commodity whatsoever. The man who raises a 
hundred bushels of peaches, of which only seventy are needed at 
home, can send the remainder to a distance of a hundred or a thou- 
sand miles, and the loss he sustains is only that which results from 
the fact that the price of the whole is determined by what he can 
obtain for the surplus bushels, burdened as they are with heavy 
cost of transportation, that he must lose; for the man that must go 
to a distant market must always pay the expense of getting there. 
This is a heavy loss certainly, but it is trivial when compared with 


that sustained by him who has labour to sell, because that, like 
other very perishable commodities, cannot be carried to another 
market, and must be tcasted. If he has two spare hours a day to 
sell, he finds that they waste themselves in the very act of seeking 
a distant market, and his children may go in rags, or even suffer 
from hunger, because of his inability to find a purchaser for the 
only commodity he has to sell. So, too, with the man who has 
days, weeks, or months of labour for which he desires to find a 
purchaser. Unwilling to leave his wife and his children, to go to a 
distance, he remains to be a constant weight upon the labour market, 
and must continue so to remain until there shall arise increased 
competition for the purchase of labour. It is within the knowledge 
of every one who reads this, whether he be shoemaker, hatter, 
tailor, printer, brickmaker, stonemason, or labourer, that a very 
few unemployed men in his own pursuit keep down the wages of 
all shoemakers, all hatters, all tailors, or printers ; whereas, wages 
rise when there is a demand for a few more than are at hand. 
The reason for this is to be found in the difliculty of transferring 
labour from the place at which it exists to that at which it is 
needed ; and it is to that we have to attribute the fact that the 
tendency to depression in the wages of all labour is so very great 
when there is even a very small excess of supply, and the tendency 
to elevation so great when there is even a very small excess of de- 
mand. Men starve in Ireland for want of employment, and yet the 
distance between them and the people who here earn a dollar a day, 
is one that could be overcome at the expense of fifteen or twenty dol- 
lars. Wages may be high in one part of the Union and low in another, 
and yet thousands must remain to work at low ones, because of the 
difliculty of transporting themselves, their wives, and their families, 
to the places at which their services are needed. Every such man 
tends to keep down the wages of all other men who have labour to 
sell, and therefore every man is interested in having all other men 
fully employed, and to have the demand grow faster than the 
supply. This is the best state of things for all, capitalists and 
labourers; whereas, to have the supply in excess of the demand is 
injurious to all, employers and employed. All profit by increase 


in the competition for the purchase of labour, and all suffer from 
increased competition for the sale of it. 

"We had occasion, but a little while since, to visit a factory in 
which were employed two hundred females of various ages, from 
fourteen to twenty, who were earning, on an average, three dollars 
per week, makiDg a total of six hundred dollars per week, or 
thirty thousand dollars a year; or as much as would buy five 
hundred thousand yards of cotton cloth. Now supposing these 
two hundred females to represent one hundred families, it would 
follow that their labour produced five thousand yards of cloth 
per family, being probably three times as much in value as 
the total consumption of clothing by all its members, from the 
parent down to the infant child. 

Let us now suppose this factory closed ; what then would be the 
value of the labour of these girls, few of whom have strength for 
field-work, even if our habits of thought permitted that it should 
be so employed ? It would be almost nothing, for they could do 
little except house-work, and the only effect of sending them home 
would be that, whereas one person, fully employed, performs now 
the labour of the house, it would henceforth be divided between 
two or three, all of whom would gradually lose the habit of industry 
they have been acquiring. The direct effect of this would be a 
diminution in the demand for female labour, and a diminution of 
its reward. While the factory continues in operation there is com- 
petition for the purchase of such labour. The parent desires to 
retain at least one child. A neighbour desires to hire another, and 
the factory also desires one. To supply these demands requires 
all the females of the neighbourhood capable of working and not 
provided with families of their own, and thus those who are will- 
ing to work have the choice of employers and employment; while 
the competition for the purchase of their services tends to raise the 
rate of wages. If, now, in the existing state of things, another 
factory were established in the same neighbourhood, requiring a 
hundred or a hundred and fifty more females, the effect would be to 
establish increased competition for the purchase of labour, attended 
by increased power of choice on the part of the labourer, and in- 


creased reward of labour— and it is in this increased power of choice 
that freedom consists. If, on the contrary, the factories were 
closed, the reverse effect would be produced, the competition for 
the purchase of labour being diminished, with corresponding dimi- 
nution of the power of choice on the part of the labourer, diminu- 
tion in his compensation, and diminution of freedom. 

What is true with regard to the females of this neighbourhood 
is equally true with regard to the men, women, and children of the 
world. Wherever there exists competition for the purchase of 
labour, there the labourer has his choice among employers, and the 
latter are not only required to pay higher wages, but they are also 
required to treat their workmen and workwomen with the considera- 
tion that is due to fellow-beings equal in rights with them- 
selves : but wherever there is not competition for the purchase of 
labour, the labourer is compelled to work for any who are willing 
to employ him, and to receive at the hands of his employer low 
wages and the treatment of a slave, for slave he is. Here is a 
plain and simple proposition, the proof of which every reader 
can test for himself. If he lives in a neighbourhood in which 
there exists competition for the purchase of labour, he knows that 
he can act as becomes a freeman in determining for whom he will 
work, and the price he is willing to receive for his services ; but 
if he lives in one in which there is competition for the sale of 
labour, he knows well that it does not rest with him to determine 
either where he will work or what shall be his wages. 

Where all are farmers, there can be no competition for the pur- 
chase of labour, except for a few days in harvest; but there must be 
competition for the sale of labour during all the rest of the year. 
Of course, where all are farmers or planters, the man who has 
labour to sell is at the mercy of the few who desire to buy it, as is 
seen in our Southern States, where the labourer is a slave ; and in 
Ireland, where his condition is far worse than that of the slaves of 
the South ; and in India, where men sell themselves for long terms 
of years to labour in the West Indies ; and in Portugal, where 
competition for the purchase of labour has no existence. Where, 
on the contrary, there is a diversification of employments, there is 


a steady improvement in the condition of men, as they more and 
more acquire the power to determine for themselves for whom they 
will work and what shall be their reward, as is seen in the rapid 
improvement in the condition of the people of France, Belgium, and 
Germany, and especially of those of Russia, where competition for 
the purchase of labour is increasing with wonderful rapidity. Di- 
versification of employment is absolutely necessary to produce 
competition for the purchase of labour. The shoemaker does not 
need to purchase shoes, nor does the miner need to buy coal, any 
more than the farmer needs to buy wheat or potatoes. Bring them 
together, and combine with them the hatter, the tanner, the cotton- 
spinner, the maker of woollen cloth, and the smelter and roller of 
iron, and each of them becomes a competitor for the purchase of 
the labour, or the products of the labour, of all the others, and the 
wages of all rise with the increase of competition. 

In order that labour may be productive, it must be aided by 
machinery. The farmer could do little with his hands, but when 
aided by the plough and the harrow he may raise much wheat and 
corn. He could carry little on his shoulders, but he may trans- 
port much when aided by a horse and wagon, and still more when 
aided by a locomotive engine or a ship. He could convert little 
grain into flour when provided only with a pestle and mortar, but 
he may do much when provided with a mill. His wife could con- 
vert little cotton into cloth when provided only with a spinning- 
wheel and hand-loom, but her labour becomes highly productive 
when aided by the spinning-jenny and the power-loom. The more 
her labours and those of her husband are thus aided the larger will 
be the quantity of grain produced, the more speedily will it be con- 
verted into flour, the more readily will it be carried to market, the 
larger will be the quantity of cloth for which it will exchange, the 
greater will be the quantity of food and clothing to be divided 
among the labourers, and the greater will be the facility on the 
part of the labourer to acquire machinery of his own, and to be- 
come his own employer, and thus to increase that diversification in 
the employment of labour which tends to increase the competition 
for its purchase. 


It Tvill next, we think, be quite clear to the reader that tlie nearer 
the grist-mill is to the farm, the less will be the labour required 
for converting the wheat into flour, the more will be the labour 
that may be given to the improvement of the farm, and the greater 
will be the power of the farmer to purchase shoes, hats, coats, 
ploughs, or harrows, and thus to create a demand for labour. 
Equally clear will it be that the nearer he can bring the hatter, the 
shoemaker, and the tailor, the maker of ploughs and harrows, the 
less will be the loss of labour in exchanging his wheat for their 
commodities, and the greater will be his power to purchase books 
and newspapers, to educate his children, and thus to introduce new 
varieties in the demand for labour ; and each such new variety in 
the demand for that commodity tends to raise the wages of those 
engaged in all other pursuits. If there be none but farmers, all 
are seeking employment on a farm. Open a carpenter's or a 
blacksmith's shop, and the men employed therein will cease to be 
competitors for farm labour, and wages will tend to rise. Open a 
mine, or quarry stone and build a mill, and here will be a new 
competition for labour that will tend to produce a rise in the 
wages of all labourers. Build a dozen mills, and men will be re- 
quired to get out timber and stone, and to make spindles, looms, 
and steam-engines ; and when the mills are completed, the demand 
for labour will withdraw hundreds of men that would be otherwise 
competitors for employment in the ploughing of fields, the making 
of shoes or coats, and hundreds of women that would otherwise be 
seeking to employ themselves in binding shoes or making shirts. 
Competition for the purchase of labour grows, therefore, with every 
increase in the diversification of employment, with constant tendency 
to increase in the reward of labour. It declines with every dimi- 
nution in the modes of employing labour, with steady tendency to 
decline in wages. 

If the reader will now trace the course of man toward freedom, 
in the various nations of the world, he will see that his progress 
has been in the ratio of the growth of towns at which he and his 
neighbours could exchange the products of their labour, and that 
it has declined as the near towns have given way to the distant 


cities. The people of Attica did not need to go abroad to effect 
their exchanges, and therefore they became rich and free ; whereas 
the Spartans, who tolerated nothing but agriculture, remained 
poor and surrounded by hosts of slaves. The towns and cities of 
Italy gave value to the land by which they were surrounded, and 
freedom to the people by whom that land was cultivated. So was 
it in Holland, and in Belgium, and so again in England. In each 
and all of these land increased in value with every increase in the 
facility of exchanging its products for clothing and machinery, and 
with each step in this direction men were enabled more readily to 
maintain and to increase the power of the land, and to permit larger 
numbers to obtain increased supplies from the same surfaces. 
Association thus increased the power of accumulating wealth, and 
wealth thus diminished in its power over labour, while with aug- 
mented numbers the people everywhere found an increase in their 
power to assert and to defend their rights. Having reflected on 
the facts presented to him in the pages of history, and having 
satisfied himself that they are in perfect accordance with the views 
here presented, the reader will perhaps find himself disposed to 
admit the correctness of the following propositions : — 

I. That the nearer the market the less must be the cost to the 
farmer for transporting his products to market and for bringing back 
the manure to maintain and improve his land. 

II. That the nearer the market the less must be the loss of 
labour in going to market, and the greater the quantity that can 
be given to the improvement of the land. 

III. That the more the labour and manure that can be given 
to land, the larger will be the product and the greater its value. 

IV. That the larger the quantity of commodities produced the 
greater will be the demand for labour to be employed in converting 
them into forms that fit them for consumption, and the larger the 
quantity to be divided among the labourers. 

V. That the greater the competition for the purchase of labour 
the greater must be the tendency toward the freedom of the 

VI. That the freedom of man in thought, speech, action, and 


trade, tends thus to keep pace with increase in the habit of associa- 
tion among men, and increase in the value of land; — and 

VII. That the interests of the labourer and land-owner are thus 
in perfect harmony with each other, the one becoming free as the 
other becomes rich. 

Equally correct will be found the following propositions : — 

I. That the more distant the market the greater must be the 
cost to the farmer for transporting his products to market, the 
greater must be the difficulty of obtaining manure, and the more 
must his land be impoverished. 

II. That the more distant the market the greater must be the 
loss of labour on the road, and the less the quantity that can be 
given to the improvement of the land. 

III. That the less the labour and manure applied to the land 
the less must be the product, and the less its value. 

IV. That the longer this process is continued the poorer must 
become the land, until at length it ceases to have value, and must 
be abandoned. 

V. That the smaller the quantity of commodities produced the 
less must be the demand for labour to be employed in their con- 
version, and the less the quantity to be divided among the labourers. 

VI. That the less the competition for the purchase of labour the 
less must be the power of the labourer to determine for whom he 
will work, or what must be his reward, and the greater the ten- 
dency toward his becoming enslaved. 

VII. That the tendency toward slavery tends thus to keep pace 
with the decline in the habit of association among men, and the 
loss of value in land; — and 

VIII. That thus the labourer and land-owner suffer together, 
the one becoming enslaved as the other becomes impoverished. 

If evidence be desired of the correctness of these propositions, it 
may found in the history of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mexico, and of 
every other country that has declined in wealth and population. 




The views that heave thus been presented are entirely in harmony 
with those of the illustrious author of " The Wealth of Nations." 
" In seeking for employment to a capital," says Dr. Smith, 

'•Manufactures are, upon equal or nearly equal profits, naturally 
preferred to foreign commerce, for the same reason that agriculture is 
naturally preferred to manufactures. As the capital of the landlord 
or farmer is more secure than that of the manufacturer, so the capital 
of the manufacturer, being at all times more within his view and com- 
mand, is more secure than that of the foreign merchant. In every 
period, indeed, of every society, the surplus part both of the rude and 
manufactured produce, or that for which there is no demand at home, 
must be sent abroad, in order to be exchanged for something for which 
there is some demand at home. But whether the capital which carries 
this surplus produce abroad be a foreign or domestic one, is of little 

It is thus, in his estimation, of small importance whether the 
capital engaged in the work of transportation be foreign or domes- 
tic — the operations most essential to the comfort and improvement 
of man being, first, the production, and next, the conversion of the 
products of the land, by men occupying towns and cities placed 
among the producers. The nearer the market the less must be, as 
he clearly saw, the loss of transportation, and the greater the value 
of the land. If the number or the capital of those markets were 
insufficient for the conversion of all the rude produce of the earth, 
there would then be " considerable advantage" to be derived from 
the export of the surplus by the aid of foreign capital, thus leaving 
" the whole stock of the society" to be employed at home " to more 
useful purpose." These views are certainly widely different from 
those of modern economists, who see in tables of imports and ex- 
ports the only criterion of the condition of society. Commerce, by 
which is meant exchanges with distant people, is regarded as the 
sole measure of the prosperity of a nation ; and yet every man is 


rejoiced when the market for his products is brought home to him, 
and he is thereby enabled to economize transportation and enrich 
his land by returning to it the elements of which those products 
had been composed. 

u According to the natural course of things," says Dr. Smith, "the 
greater part of the capital of every growing society is, first, directed to 
agriculture, afterward to manufactures, and, last of all, to foreign 

This, says he, is in accordance with natural laws. As subsist- 
ence precedes luxuries, so must the production of commodities 
precede their conversion or their exchange. 

"Necessity imposes/' he continues, " that order of things" which " is 
in every country promoted by the natural inclinations of man. If 
human institutions had never thwarted those natural inclinations, the 
towns could nowhere have increased beyond what the improvement 
and cultivation of the territory in which they were situated could sup- 
port ; till such time, at least, as the whole of that territory was com- 
pletely cultivated and improved. Upon equal, or nearly equal profits, 
most men will choose to employ their capitals rather in the improve- 
ment and cultivation of land, than either in manufactures or in foreign 
trade. The man who employs his capital in land, has it more under 
his view and command; and his fortune is much less liable to accidents 
than that of the trader, who is obliged frequently to commit it, not 
only to the winds and the waves, but to the more uncertain elements 
of human folly and injustice, by giving great credits, in distant coun- 
tries, to men with whose character and situation he can seldom be 
thoroughly acquainted. The capital of the landlord, on the contrary, 
which is fixed in the improvement of his land, seems to be as well se- 
cured as the nature of human affairs can admit of. The beauty of 
the country, besides the pleasures of a country life, the tranquillity of 
mind which it promises, and, wherever the injustice of human laws 
does not disturb it, the independency which it really affords, have 
charms that, more or less, attract everybody; and as to cultivate the 
ground was the original destination of man, so, in every stage of his 
existence, he seems to retain a predilection for this primitive employ- 

"Without the assistance of some artificers, indeed, the cultivation of 
land cannot be carried on, but with great inconveniency and continual 
interruption. Smiths, carpenters, wheelwrights and ploughwrights, 
masons and bricklayers, tanners, shoemakers, and tailors, are people 
whose service the farmer has frequent occasion for. Such artificers, 
too, stand occasionally in need of the assistance of one another : and as 
their residence is not, like that of the farmer, necessarily tied down to 
a precise spot, the}' naturally settle in the neighbourhood of one 
another, and thus form a small town or village. The butcher, the 
brewer, and the baker soon join them, together with many other arti- 
ficers and retailers, necessary or useful for supplying their occasional 


wants, and who contribute still further to augment the town. The in- 
habitants of the town and those of the country are mutually the ser- 
vants of one another. The town is a continual fair or market, to 
which the inhabitants of the country resort, in order to exchange their 
rude for manufactured produce. It is this commerce which supplies 
the inhabitants of the town, both with the materials of their work and 
the means of their subsistence. The quantity of the finished work 
which they sell to the inhabitants of the country, necessarily regulates 
the quantity of the materials and provisions which they buy. Neither 
their employment nor subsistence, therefore, can augment, but in pro- 
portion to the augmentation of the demand from the country for 
finished work ; and this demand can augment only in proportion to the 
extension of improvement and cultivation. Had human institutions, 
therefore, never disturbed the natural course of things, the progressive 
wealth and increase of the towns would, in every political society, be 
consequential, and in proportion to the improvement and cultivation 
of the territory or country." 

The demand on the artisan " can augment only in proportion to 
the extension of improvement and cultivation. " Nothing can be 
more true. The interests of the farmer and the mechanic are in per- 
fect harmony with each other. The one needs a market for his 
products, and the nearer the market the greater must be the produce 
of his land, because of his increased power to carry back to it the 
manure. The other needs a market for his labour, and the richer 
the land around him the greater will be the quantity of products 
to be offered in exchange for labour, and the greater his freedom to 
determine for himself for whom he will work and what shall be his 
wages. The combination of effort between the labourer in the 
workshop and the labourer on the farm thus gives value to land, 
and the more rapid the growth of the value of land the greater has 
everywhere been the tendency to the freedom of man. 

These views were opposed to those then universally prevalent. 

" England's treasure in foreign trade" had become 

"A fundamental maxim in the political economy, not of England 
only, but of all other commercial countries. The inland or home 
trade, the most important of all, the trade in which an equal capital 
affords the greatest revenue, and creates the greatest employment to 
the people of the country, was considered as subsidiary only to foreign 
trade. It neither brought money into the country, it was said, nor 
carried any out of it. The country, therefore, could never become 
richer or poorer by means of it, except as far as its prosperity or decay 
might indirectly influence the state of foreign trade." 

It was against this error chiefly that Dr. Smith cautioned his 


countrymen. He showed that it had led, and was leading, to mea- 
sures tending to disturb the natural course of things in all the 
countries connected with England, and to produce among them a 
necessity for trade while diminishing the power to maintain trade. 
"Whatever tends," says he, " to diminish in any country the num- 
ber of artificers and manufacturers, tends to diminish the home 
market, the most important of all markets, for the rude produce of 
the land, and thereby still further to discourage agriculture," and 
consequently to diminish the power of producing things with 
which to trade. He nowhere refers to the fact that any system 
which looks to compelling a nation to export raw produce, tends 
necessarily to the impoverishment of the land and its owner, and 
to the diminution of the freedom of the labourer, and yet that 
such was the case could scarcely have escaped his observation. The 
tendency of the then existing English policy was, as he showed, to 
produce in various countries a necessity for exporting every thing 
in its rudest form, thus increasing the cost of transportation, while 
impoverishing the land and exhausting the people. The legislature 
had been, he said, tt prevailed upon" to prevent the establishment of 
manufactures in the colonies, " sometimes by high duties, and some- 
times by absolute prohibitions." In Grenada, while a colony of 
France, every plantation had its own refinery of sugar, but on its 
cession to England they were all abandoned, and thus was the number 
of artisans diminished, to " the discouragement of agriculture." The 
course of proceeding relative to these colonies is thus described : — 

"While Great Britain encourages in America the manufacturing of 
pi£ and bar iron, by exempting them from duties to which the like 
commodities are subject when imported from any other country, she 
imposes an absolute prohibition upon the erection of steel furnaces and 
slit-mills in any of her American plantations. She will not suffer her 
colonies to work in those more refined manufactures, even for their 
own consumption; but insists upon their purchasing of her merchants 
and manufactures all goods of this kind which they have occa- 
sion for. 

She prohibits the exportation from one province to another by water, 
and even the carriage by land upon horseback, or in a cart, of hats, of 
wools, and woollen goods, of the produce of America; a regulation which 
effectually prevents the establishment of any manufacture of such com- 
modities for distant sale, and confines the industry of her colonists in this 
way to such coarse and household manufactures as a private family 



commonly makes for its own use, or for that of some of its neighbours 
in the same province." 

His views, in regard to such measures, are thus given : — 

"To prohibit a great people from making all they can of every part 
of their own produce, or from employing their stock and industry in a 
way that they judge most advantageous to themselves, is a manifest 
violation of the most sacred rights of mankind." 

Further to carry out this view of compelling the people of the 
colonies to abstain from manufacturing for themselves, and to carry 
their products to distant markets, to the exhaustion of the land and 
to the diminution of the value of labour, bounties were paid on the 
importation into England of various articles of raw produce, while 
the export of various raw materials, of artisans, and of machinery, 
was prohibited. The whole object of the system was, he said, to 
" raise up colonies of customers, a project," he added, "fit only 
for a nation of shopkeepers." Indeed, he thought it "unfit even 
for a nation of shopkeepers," although "extremely fit for a nation 
whose government was influenced by shopkeepers." He was there- 
fore entirely opposed to all such arrangements as the Methuen 
treaty, by which, in consideration of obtaining the control of the 
market of Portugal for the sale of her manufactures, Great Britain 
agreed to give to the wines of that country great advantage over 
those of France. 

Against all the errors of the system, Dr. Smith, however, raised 
in vain his warning voice. "England's treasure" was, it was 
thought, to be found "in foreign trade," and every measure 
adopted by the government had in view the extension of that trade. 
With each new improvement of machinery there was a new law 
prohibiting its export. The laws against the export of artisans 
were enforced, and a further one prohibited the emigration of col- 
liers. The reader will readily see that a law prohibiting the export 
of cotton or woollen machinery was precisely equivalent to a law 
to compel all the producers of wool or cotton to seek the distant 
market of England if they desired to convert their products into 
cloth. The inventors of machinery, and the artisans who desired 
to work it, were thus deprived of freedom of action, in order that, 
foreigners might be made the slaves of those who controlled the 


spinning-jenny, the loom, and the steam-engine, in whose hands it 
was desired to centralize the control of the farmers and planters of 
the world. England was to be made " the workshop of the world," 
although her people had been warned that the system was not only 
unnatural, but in the highest degree unjust, and even more impo- 
litic than unjust, because while tending to expel capital and labour 
from the great and profitable home market, it tended greatly to 
the "discouragement of agriculture" in the colonies and nations 
subjected to the system, and to prevent the natural increase of the 
smaller and less profitable distant market upon which she was be- 
coming more and more dependent. 

By degrees the tendency of the system became obvious. Boun- 
ties on the import of wood, and wool, and flax, and other raw ma- 
terials, tended to " the discouragement of agriculture" at home, 
and bounties on the export of manufactures tended to drive into 
the work of converting and exchanging the products of other lands 
the labour and capital that would otherwise have been applied to 
the work of production at home. The necessary consequence of 
this was, that the difficulty of obtaining these raw materials, instead 
of diminishing with the progress of population, tended to increase, 
and then it was, at the distance of a quarter of a century from the 
date of the publication of "The Wealth of Nations," that the founda- 
tion of the new school was laid by Mr. Malthus, who taught that all 
the distress existing in the world was the inevitable consequence of 
a great law of nature, which provided that food should increase only 
in arithmetical progression, while population might increase in 
geometrical progression. Next came Mr. Ricardo, who furnished 
a law of the occupation of the earth, showing, and conclusively, 
as he supposed, that the work of cultivation was always commenced 
on the rich soils, yielding a large return to labour, and that as 
population increased, men were compelled to resort to others, each 
in succession less fertile than its predecessor — the consequence of 
which was that labour became daily less productive, the power to 
obtain food diminished, and the power to demand rent increased, the 
poor becoming daily poorer, weaker, and more enslaved, as the rich 
became richer and more powerful. Next came the elder Mill, 


who showed that, in obedience to the law thus propounded by Mr. 
Ricardo, the return to capital and labour applied to the work of 
cultivation must be " continually decreasing," and the annual fund 
from which savings are made, continually diminishing. " The 
difficulty of making savings is thus," he adds, " continually aug- 
mented, and at last they must totally cease." He regarded it 
therefore as certain that "wages would be reduced so low that a 
portion of the population would regularly die from the consequences 
of want." In such a state of things, men sell themselves, their 
wives, or their children, for mere food. We see, thus, that the 
modern British theory looks directly to the enslavement of man. 

In this manner, step by step, did the British political economists 
pass from the school of Adam Smith, in which it was taught that 
agriculture preceded manufactures and commerce, the latter of which 
were useful to the extent that they aided the former, — to that new 
one in which was, and is, taught, that manufactures and commerce 
were the great and profitable pursuits of man, and that agriculture, 
because of the " constantly increasing sterility of the soil," was the 
least profitable of all. Hence it is that we see England to have been 
steadily passing on in the same direction, and devoting all her 
energies to the prevention of the establishment, in any country of 
the world, of markets in which the raw produce of the land could 
be exchanged directly with the artisan for the products of his 

For a time this prospered, but at length the eyes of the world 
were opened to the fact that they and their land were being im- 
poverished as she was being enriched; and that the effect of the 
system was that of constituting herself sole buyer of the raw products 
of their labour and their land, and sole seller of the manufactured 
commodities to be given in exchange for them, with power to fix 
the prices of both ; and thus that she was really acting in the 
capacity of mistress of the world, with power to impose taxes at 
discretion. By degrees, machinery and artisans were smuggled 
abroad, and new machinery was made, and other nations turned 
their attention more and more to manufacturing ; and now it be- 
came necessary to make new exertions for the purpose of securing 


to England the monopoly she had so long enjoyed. To. enable her 
to do this we find her at length throwing open her ports for the 
free admission of corn and numerous other of the raw products of 
the earth, free from the payment of any duty whatever, and thus 
offering to the various nations of the world a bounty on the further 
exhaustion of their land. The adoption of this measure would, it 
was supposed, induce Prussia, Austria, Russia, and Denmark, and 
all America, to devote themselves exclusively to the cultivation of 
the earth, abandoning all attempts at the creation of nearer places 
of exchange; and thus that all the world outside of England would 
become producers of raw materials to be carried to that single and 
distant market, there to "be consumed or converted, and the refuse 
thereof to be deposited on the land of England. That such was 
the object of this measure was admitted by all. It was announced 
as a boon to the agriculturists of the world. How far it was cal- 
culated to be so, the reader may judge, after satisfying himself 
of the truth of the following propositions : — 

I. That if there is to be but one place of exchange or manufac- 
ture for the world, all the rest of the people of the world must 
limit themselves to agriculture. 

II. That this necessarily implies the absence of towns, or local 
places of exchange, and a necessity for resorting to a place of ex- 
change far distant. 

III. That the distance of the place of consumption from the 
place of production forbids the possibility of returning to the land 
any of the manure yielded by its products. 

IV. That this in turn implies the exhaustion of the land and 
the impoverishment of its owner. 

V. That the impoverishment of the land renders necessary a re- 
moval to new and more distant lands. 

VI. That this renders necessary a larger amount of transporta- 
tion, while the impoverishment of the farmer increases the difficulty 
of making roads. 

VII. That the increased distance of the market produces a 
steadily increased necessity for limiting the work of cultivation to 
the production of those commodities which can be obtained from 


high and dry lands, and that the quantity of products tends there- 
fore to diminish with the increased distance from market. 

VIII. That with each step in the progress of exhausting the 
land, men are compelled to separate more widely from each other, 
and that there is therefore a steady diminution in the power of 
association for the making of roads, or the establishment of schools, 
and that the small towns, or near places of exchange, tend gradually 
toward depopulation and ruin. 

IX. That the more men separate from each other the less is the 
power to procure machinery, and the greater the necessity for cul- 
tivating the poorest soils, even though surrounded by lead, iron, 
and copper ore, coal, lime, and all other T>f the elements of which 
machinery is composed. 

X. That with the diminished power of association, children grow 
up uneducated, and men and women become rude and barbarous. 

XI. That the power to apply labour productively tends steadily 
to diminish, and that women, in default of other employment, are 
forced to resort to the field, and to become slaves to their fathers, 
husbands, and brothers. 

XII. That the power to accumulate capital tends likewise to 
diminish — that land becomes from day to day more consolidated — 
and that man sinks gradually into the condition of a slave to 
the landed or other capitalist. 

XIII. That with this steady passage of man from the state of 
a freeman to that of a slave, he has steadily less to sell, and can 
therefore purchase less; and that thus the only effect of a policy 
which compels the impoverishment of the land and its owner is to 
destroy the customer, who, under a different system of policy, 
might have become a larger purchaser from year to year. 

That the object of the present English policy is that of con- 
verting all the nations of the world into purely agricultural com- 
munities will not be denied ; but as it may be doubted if the effects 
would be such as are here described, it is proposed now to 
inquire into the movement of some of the non-manufacturing com- 
munities of the world, with a view to determine if the facts observed 
are in correspondence with those that, reasoning a priori, we should 


be led to expect. Before entering upon this examination, the 
reader is, however, requested to peruse the following extracts from 
"Gee on Trade," in which is described the former colonial system, 
and afterward the extract from a recent despatch of Lord Grey, 
late Colonial Secretary, with a view to satisfy himself how perfect^ 
identical are the objects now sought to be attained with those de- 
sired by the statesmen of the last century, and denounced by 
Adam Smith. 

Joshua Gee — 1750. 

First — " Manufactures in American colonies should be discouraged, 

"Great Britain with its dependencies is doubtless as well able to 
subsist within itself as any nation in Europe. We have an enterprising 
people, fit for all the arts of peace or war. We have provisions in 
abundance, and those of the best sort, and we are able to raise suffi- 
cient for double the number of inhabitants. We have the very best 
materials for clothing, and want nothing either for use or for luxury, 
but what we have at home, or might have from our colonies ; so that 
we might make such an intercourse of trade among ourselves, or be- 
tween us and them, as would maintain a vast navigation. But, we 
ought always to keep a watchful eye over our colonies, to restrain them 
from setting up any of the manufactures which are carried on in Great 
Britain; and any such attempts should be crushed in the beginning, 
for if they are suffered to grow up to maturity it will be difficult to 
suppress them." 

"Our colonies are much in the same state as Ireland was in when 
they began the woollen manufactory, and as their numbers increase, 
icill fall upon manufactures for clothing themselves, if due care be 
not taken to find employment for them in raising such productions 
as may enable them to furnish themselves with all the necessaries 
from us." 

" I should, therefore, think it worthy the care of the government to 
endeavour by all possible means to encourage them in the raising of 
silk, hemp, flax, iron, [only pig, to be hammered in England,) potash, 
&c, by giving them competent bounties in the beginning, and sending 
over skilful and judicious persons, at the public charge, to assist and 
instruct them in the most proper methods of management, which in 
my apprehension would lay a foundation for establishing the most 
profitable trade of any we have. And considering the commanding 
situation of our colonies along the seacoast, the great convenience 
of navigable rivers in all of them, the cheapness of land, and the easi- 
ness of raising provisions, great numbers of people would transport 
themselves thither to settle upon such improvements. Now, as people 
have been filled with fears that the colonies, if encouraged to raise 
rough materials, would set up for themselves, a little regulation would 
be necessary; and as they will have the providing rough materials for 


themselves, a little regulation would remove all those jealousies out of 
the way. They have never thrown or wove any silk, as yet, that we 
have heard of, — therefore, if a law was made prohibiting the use of any 
throwing mill, of doubling or throstling silk, with any machine what- 
ever, they would then send it to us raw. And as they will have the 
providing rough materials to themselves, so shall we have the manu- 
facturing of them. If encouragement be given for raising hemp, flax, 
&c, doubtless they will soon begin to manufacture, if not prevented. 
Therefore, to stop the progress of any such manufacture, it is proposed 
that no weaver have liberty to set up any looms, without first re- 
gistering at an office kept for that purpose, and the name and place of 
abode of any journeyman that shall work for him. But if any^a?*- 
ticular inhabitant shall be inclined to have any linen or woollen made 
of their own spinning, they should not be abridged of the same liberty 
that they now make use of, namely to have a weaver who shall be 
licensed by the Governor, and have it wrought up for the use of the 
family, but not to be sold to any person in a private manner, nor ex- 
posed to any market or fair, upon pain of forfeiture." "That all slit- 
ting mills and engines for drawing wire, or weaving stockings, be jnit 
down." " That all negroes shall be prohibited from weaving either 
linen or woollen, or spinning or combing of wool, or working at any 
manufacture of iron, further than making it into pig or bar iron. 
That they also be prohibited from manufacturing hats, stockings, or 
leather of am/ kind. This limitation will not abridge the planters of 
any liberty they now enjoy — on the contrary, it will then turn their 
industry to promoting and raising those rough materials." 

Second — "The advantages to Great Britain from keeping the colo- 
nies dependent on her for their essential supplies." 

"If we examine into the circumstances of the inhabitants of our 
plantations, and our own, it will appear that not one-fourth part of 
their product redounds to their own prof t, for out of all that comes here, 
tliey only carry back clothing and other accommodations for their families, 
all of which is of the merchandise and manufacture of this kingdom." 
" All these advantages we receive by the plantations, besides the mort- 
gages on the pkoiters' estates and the high interest they pay us, which is 
very considerable, and, therefore, very great care ought to be taken, in 
regulating all the affairs of the colonists, that the planters are not put 
under too many difficulties, but encouraged to go on cheerfully." 
" Xew England and the northern colonies have not commodities and 
products enough to send us in return for purchasing their necessary 
clothing, but are under very great difficulties ; and, therefore, any 
ordinary sort sell with them, — and when they have grown out of fa- 
shion with us, they are new-fashioned enough for them." 

Lord Grey — 1850. 

"If, as has been alleged by the complainants, and as in some in- 
stances would appear to be the case, any of the duties comprised in 
the tariff have been imposed, not for the purpose of revenue, but with 
a view of protecting the interest of the Canadian manufacturer, her 
Majesty's government are clearly of opinion that such a course is in- 


jurious alike to the interests of the mother country and to those of the 
colony. Canada possesses natural advantages for the production of 
articles which will airs-ays exchange in the markets of this country for 
those manufactured goods of which she stands in need. By such ex- 
change she will obtain these goods much more cheaply than she could 
manufacture them for herself, and she will secure an advantageous 
market for the raw produce which she is best able to raise. On the 
other hand, by closing her markets against British manufactures, or 
rendering their introduction more costly, she enhances their price to the 
consumer, and by the imposition of protective duties, for the purpose 
of fostering an unnatural trade, she gives a wrong direction to capital, 
by withdrawing it from more profitable employment, and causing it to 
be invested in the manufacture of articles which might be imported at 
a cost below that of production in the colony, while at the same time 
she inflicts a blow on her export trade by rendering her markets less 
eligible to the British customer." "If the merchant finds that by ex- 
porting his goods to Canada they produce him in return a large 
quantity of corn, and thus yield a greater profit than they would if ex- 
ported to any other country, he will of course give the preference to 
Canada. But if by reason of increased import duties, those goods 
produce a diminished return, the result will be either that the Cana- 
dian farmer must submit to a proportionate reduction in the price of 
his produce, or the British manufacturer must resort to another market. 
It is, therefore, obvious, that it is not less the fcterest of Canada her- 
self than of Great Britain, that this tariff of import duties should 
undergo a careful revision." 

The phraseology of the two is different, but the object is the 
same — that of rendering it necessary to send all the raw products 
of the land to a market far distant, and thus depriving the farmer 
or planter of the power to return any portion of the loan made to 
him by the earth, and which she is always willing to renew, on the 
simple condition that when the borrower has used it, he shall return 
to the lender the elements of which it had been composed. 




The system described in the last chapter was fully carried out 
in the West India colonies. Manufactures were so entirely inter- 
dicted from the date of their coming under the crown of Great 
Britain, that the colonists were not permitted even to refine their 
own sugar, and still less to convert their cotton into cloth. The 
necessary consequence was that women and children could have 
no employment but that of the field* This, of course, tended to 
sink both mother and child fer lower in the scale of civilization 
than would have been the case had the lighter labour of conversion 
been associated with the more severe one of production. The next 
effect was, that as all were bound to remain producers of raw com- 
modities, there could be no markets at hand, and no exchanges 
could be made except at a distance of thousands of miles. Difficul- 
ties, too, arose in regard to the diversification of labour, even in 
agriculture itself. Indigo was tried, but of the price for which it 
sold in England so large a portion was absorbed by ship-owners, 
commission merchants, and the government, that its culture was 
abandoned. Coffee was extensively introduced, and as it grows on 
higher and more salubrious lands its cultivation would have been 
of great advantage to the community j but here, as in the case of 
indigo, so small a portion of the price for which it sold was received 
by the producer that its production was about being abandoned, and 
was saved only by the government agreeing to reduce its claim to 
a shilling, or twenty-four cents, a pound. This amounted to about 
a hundred and eighty dollars per acre, the estimated produce being 
about 750 pounds of merchantable coffee ;* and very much of it 
came out of the producer — the poor negro. How enormously bur- 
densome such a tax must have been may be judged by the farmers 

* Dallas's History of the Maroons, vol. i. page c. 


who feel now so heavily the pressure of the malt duties; and it must 
always be borne in mind that the West India labourers were aided 
by the most indifferent machinery of production. By degrees these 
various taxes rendered necessary the abandonment of all cultivation 
but that of the sugar-cane, being of all others the most destructive 
of health, and as the whole population, men, women, and children, 
were limited to that single pursuit, we shall scarcely err in attri- 
buting to this fact the great waste of life recorded in a former 

Commerce, too, was interdicted, except with Great Britain and 
her colonies ; and this led to efforts at a smuggling trade with the 
Spanish possessions on the continent ; but this was brought to a 
close by the watchfulness of the ships of war.* Slaves, however, 
might be imported and exported, and this traffic was carried on on 
a most extensive scale, most of the demand for the Spanish colonies 
being supplied from the British Islands. In 1775, however, the 
colonial legislature, desirous to prevent the excessive importation 
of negroes, imposed a duty of £ 2 per head, but this was petitioned 
against by the merchants of England, and the home government 
directed the discontinuance of the tax.f At this period the annual 
export of sugar is stated J to have been 980,346 cwt., the gross 
sales of which, duty free, averaged £1 14s. 8c?. per cwt., making a 
total of £1,699,421, — so large a portion of which, however, was 
absorbed by freight, commissions, insurance, &c, that the net pro- 
ceeds of 775 sugar estates are stated to have been only £726,992, 
or less than £1000 each. If to the £973,000 thus deducted be 
added the share of the government, (12s. 3d. per cwt.,) and the 
further charges before the sugar reached the consumer, it will be 
seen that its grower could not have received more than one-fourth 
of the price at which it sold. The planter thus appears to have 
been little more than a superintendent of slaves, who were worked for 
the benefit of the merchants and the government of Great Britain, 
by whom was absorbed the lion's share of the produce of their 
labour. He was placed between the slave, whom he was obliged to 

* Macpherson, vol. iii. 391. f Ibid. 574. J Ibid. vol. iv. 255. 


support, on the one hand, and the mortgagee, the merchants, and 
the government, whom he was also obliged to support, on the other, 
and he could take for himself only what was left — and if the crop 
proved large, and prices fell, he was ruined. The consequences 
of this are seen in the fact that in twenty years following this 
period, there were sold for debt no less than 177 estates, while 92 
remained unsold in the hands of creditors, and 55 were wholly 
abandoned. Seeing these things, it will not be difficult to under- 
stand the cause of the extraordinary waste of life exhibited in the 
British Islands. The planter could exist, himself, only by over- 
working his people; and notwithstanding all his efforts, no less than 
324 out of 775 estates changed hands by reason of failure in the 
short space of twenty years. Whatever might be his disposition to 
improve the condition of the labourer, to do so was quite impossible 
while receiving for himself and them so small a portion of the price 
of his commodity. 

In the early years of the present century, land had become more 
valuable. The price of sugar had risen about 80 per cent., and the 
planters were gradually extricating themselves from their difficul- 
ties ) and a consequence of this was seen in a considerable ameliora- 
tion of the condition of the slave, who was now much better fed, 
clothed, and otherwise provided for.* Slaves that had been as 
low as £34, average price, had risen to £50, at which the 250,000 
in the island amounted to £12,500,000, and the real and personal 
property, exclusive of the slaves, was estimated at £25,000,000.*)" 
How great, however, were the difficulties under which the planters 
still laboured, may be seen from the following extract, which, long- 
as it is, is given because it illustrates so forcibly the destructive 
effects of the policy that looks to the prevention of that association 
which results from bringing the loom and the anvil to the side of 
plough and the harrow. 

"I hare now to enter upon a painful part of my task, a part in which 
I am under the necessity of stating such circumstances as cannot but 
reflect disgrace on those who give rise to them, and from which the 

* Dallas's History of the Maroons, vol. i. cvii. f Ibid. cv. 


weakness, I will not use a harsher term, of the legislature, is but too 
apparent. These circumstances arise from the various modes of agency, 
such as that of the attorney of estates, mortgagee in possession, receiver 
in chancery, &c. The first of these characters requires a definition. 
By the word attorney, in this sense, is meant agent ; and the duties an- 
nexed to his office are so similar to those of a steward in England, that 
were it not for the dissimilarity of executing them, and the dignity at- 
tendant upon the former, I should pronounce them one and the same, 
But as this colonial stewardship is the surest road to imperial fortune, 
men of property and distinguished situation push eagerly for it. At- 
torneys are of two sorts ; six per cent, attorneys, and salaried attorneys ; 
the profits of the former arise from commissions of six per cent, on all 
the produce of an estate, and various interior resources ; the latter are 
paid a certain stipend by some unincumbered proprietors, who have 
lately discovered that a steward in Jamaica may be hired like a stew- 
ard in England, by which several thousand pounds a year are saved, 
and instead of enriching their agents, are poured into their own coffers. 
The office of both is to attend to the estates of their employers, and to 
all their interests in the island, deputed to them that the proprietors 
themselves may live at home, that is to say, in Europe. 

" Of all the evils in the island of Jamaica, which call for a remedy, and 
by means of which the most unjustifiable practices are continued, the 
first and most crying is that of the business of a certain description of 
attorneys of orphans, mortgagees in possession, trustees, executors, guar- 
dians, and receivers under the court of chancery ; and these evils arise 
in a great measure from the unjust and impolitic law which allows six 
per cent, commission on the gross produce of the estates under their 
charge and direction. The iniquitous practices, screened, if not au- 
thorized by that law, have long been too glaring to be unnoticed; and 
attempts have been made to reduce the commission, and to fix it on 
some more equitable principle ; but unfortunately there have always 
been in the House of Assembly too many of its members interested in 
benefits resulting from the present law to admit the adoption of the 
measure. That the interest of attorneys is not always the interest of 
those whose estates they hold is an undeniable fact, of which I think 
you will be convinced by the time you arrive at the conclusion of this 
letter. In many instances, too, this superior collateral interest militates 
against the happiness and amelioration of the state and condition of 
the slaves, which is now professed by the colonists to be an object of 
their most serious attention ; and it proves not unfrequently the total 
ruin of the unfortunate planter, whose involved situation compels him 
to submit to the condition of consigning his estate to the management 
of an attorney appointed by his creditor, who is generally his merchant, 
and who throws the full legal advantages of his debtor's estate into 
the hands of his own agent in the island, to compensate for the econo- 
mical bargain he makes for the management of his own concerns ; a 
practice common also to trustees, guardians, &c. The law allowing 
such enormous commissions for services so inadequate, is also very de ; 
fective in an important point; for it establishes no data for fixing 
the charge of this commission, which is never made according to the 
sales of sugar, for that is not soon, if ever known to the attorney. 


Hence, in the different acconnts, the charges are estimated on sugar at 
several prices, from 20-s. per cwt. to 45s., and even 50*. ; and in the same 
books of one and the same attorney, these charges are found to differ 
according to his connection with his employer, generally increasing in 
proportion to the distress of the property and of the proprietor. To 
form some notion of the advantages attending these appointments, and 
of their injurious tendency to involved proprietors, and even to their 
creditors, let us see what a receiver under the court of chancery can 
do. In the first place, it has not always been the practice to select him 
from among the inhabitants in the vicinity of the unfortunate estates, 
or from among the friends of the proprietor ; he is frequently a resident 
in one of the towns, with perhaps as Utile Knowledge of the management 
of an estate as is possessed by the sweeper of the chancery office; and in- 
deed it would not be inapplicable to distinguish such receivers by the 
appellation of chancery-sweepers. These gentlemen seldom if ever see 
the estates which they are to direct, and have no other directions to 
give than, in a lumping way, to make as much sugar as possible, and 
to ship it, most likely to their own correspondents. Whatever the estates 
clear is so much in their hands, and of course the more money the belter 
for them; money takes root in every softy and propagates itself a thou- 
sand ways; not a dollar of it therefore finds its way into the chancery 
chest, for the receiver having given security, the treasure is, by a com- 
mon fiction in use, held to be fully as safe in his hands. While the 
different creditors of the estate are fighting the battle of priority, the 
receiver continues to direct the management of it, to ship the crop, and 
to take care of the money. At length a prior debt is established, and 
the creditor having gained the point, remains for a time satisfied; but 
finding, though his principal accumulates, that he receives nothing, he 
becomes clamorous for a sale. This may take place in five or six years 
time, when all pretexts for delay are worn out, and in the mean time 
the receiver takes care to have money, adequate to the simple sums re- 
ceived, turned over by his consignee or merchant to another hand, his 
banker's, to be ready to answer bills to be drawn on his own account, 
for which he must have a premium of from twelve to seventeen and a 
half per cent. The estate at last is advertised for sale by a master in 
chancery, in consequence of an order from the chancellor. The sale, 
however, is spun out a year or two longer, till the creditor or his attor- 
ney begins to remonstrate with the master : stipulations for an amicable 
settlement ensue, that is, for an admission of the receiver's accounts 
such as they may be, and for time allowed him for payment of the 
mesne profits or balance in his hands ; which agreed to, the sale is posi- 
tively to take place when the next crop is over. The sale then is actually 
concluded, the accumulations of these annual funds go unperceived to 
the further propagation of wealth for the receiver ; and the purchaser, 
who is no other than the prior creditor, is put in possession of an estate 
in ruin, with a gang of negroes dispirited and miserable, who had been 
long sensible of their situation, conceiving themselves belonging to nobody, 
and almost despairing of ever falling into the hands of a kind master, 
interested in their welfare and happiness. Let us now turn to the 
aftorney of a mortgagee in possession, and see what better he offers. 
The debt of the involved estate is duo to a man of large property, or to 


a merchant ; if to the former, he has a merchant to whom the consign- 
ment is of considerable value. It is immaterial what the debt is, an 
estate in possession of a mortgagee is generally made to pay full com- 
missions to the attorney employed for it. Injustice to all parties the 
most is to be made of the property, and it is soon found that the negroes 
upon it are not equal to the returns it is capable of making, conse- 
quently hired negroes are added to the plantation-gangs, to plant, -weed, 
and take off the crop: the works are extended, to be adequate to the 
proposed increase ; more stock, more carts are bought, more white peo- 
ple employed. To keep pace with these grand designs, the poor planta- 
tion negroes are of course overworked. What is the result ? A great 
deal of sugar and rum is made, to the credit as well as profit of the 
attorney, and by which the merchant is benefited, as the consignments 
are augmented: but six per cent, interest on the principal, six per 
cent, on that interest by compound arithmetic become principal, six 
per cent, commissions, with the contingent charges for labour, improve- 
ments, stores, &c.,- absorb the whole produce, and the planter daily 
sinks under an accumulating debt, till he is completely ruined. The 
greater the distress, the more the attorney fattens: in a war, for instance, 
a considerable additional benefit occurs ; he becomes lumber-merchant, 
and having the rum of the estate at his command, and perhaps a little 
sugar, though in the latter article he is usually restricted, as the dis- 
posal of it in the island would interfere with the loading of ships and 
consignments, he purchases wholesale cargoes, and retails them out to 
the estate at a large profit. Staves bought by the attorney at £18 per 
thousand, have been known to be sold to the estate for £45 per thou- 
sand; and the cart belonging to the property has carried the rum to 
pay for them. It is icell known that the rum made upon an estate will 
seldom pay its contingent expenses, and that frequently bills are drawn 
on Great Britain to the amount of one thousand pounds, and sometimes 
two thousand pounds, for the excess of the contingencies over and above 
the amount of the sale of the rum: here the attorney finds another ave- 
nue of amassing for himself. Settling the excess from his own means, 
he appropriates the bills which it enabled him to draw to the purchase 
of the remainder of a cargo of negroes, after the best have been culled 
at the rate of from ninety to ninety-five pounds per head: these inferior 
negroes he disposes of to his dependent overseers, jobbers, doctors, 
tradesmen, distillers, and book-keepers, at forty or fifty pounds a head 
profit ; nor is it without example, that the very estates on the credit of 
which some of the bills are drawn, have been supplied with negroes in 
the same manner, and at the same rate. This manoeuvre indeed is 
ventured only on estates of minors, whose trustees are merchants in 
Great Britain, ignorant of such practices ; or may be, when they have 
committed the estates to the attorney, liable to the full advantages to 
be made of them, to compensate for the moderate allowance they give 
for the management of their own concerns. An island merchant, or 
according to the West India appellation, storekeeper, in great business, 
told a friend of mine, that he had sold a cargo of mules at eighteen 
pounds per head to an attorney, which were dispersed in separate spells 
of eight each to several estates, but that at the special instance of the 
purchaser, he had made out the bills of parcels at thirty pounds per 


head. This does not speak much in favour of the virtue of the store- 
keeper, but it must be observed that he would have lost his customer had 
he demurred, and would probably have been considered as righteous over- 
much. There is a variety of smaller advantages enjoyed by the attor- 
ney, such as forming connections with butchers who may purchase the 
fatted cattle, with jobbers of negroes for the purpose of intermingling 
negroes at a proportionable profit, fattening horses, and a long et cetera. 
To the attorney the commanders of the ships in the trade look up with 
due respect, and as they are proper persons to speak of him to the 
merchant, their good-will is not neglected. To the involved planter 
their language often is, ' Sir, I must have your sugars down at the 
wharf directly:' that is, your sugars are to make the lowest tier, to 
stand the chance of being washed out should the ship leak or make 
much water in a bad passage. "When they address an attorney, they 
do not ask for sugars, but his favours, as* to quantity and time ; and 
his hogsheads form the upper tier."* 

An examination made about this period proved that these persons, 
193 in number, held in charge 606 sugar-works, producing about 
80,000 hhds. of sugar, and 36,000 puncheons of rum, which at 
the selling prices of that day in England yielded about £4,000,000, 
upon which they were entitled to six per cent., or £240,000. We 
have here a most extensive system of absenteeism, and absentees 
must be represented by middlemen, having no interest in the slave 
or in the plantation, except to take from both all that can be 
taken, giving as little as possible back to either. 

Why, however, did this absenteeism exist? Why did not the 
owners of property reside on their estates ? Because the policy 
which looked to limiting the whole population, male and female, 
old and young, to the culture of sugar, and forbade even that the 
sugar itself should be refined on the island, effectually prevented 
the growth of any middle class that should form the population of 
towns at which the planter might find society that could induce 
him to regard the island as his home. Such was not the case in the 
French Islands, because the French government had not desired to 
prevent the weaker class of the population from engaging in the 
work of manufacture, as has been seen in the case of Grenada, 
in which sugar was refined until the period of its surrender to the 
British arms.f Towns therefore grew up, and men of all descrip- 

• Dallas's History of the Maroons, vol. ii. 35S. f See page 14, ante. 


tions came from France to make the islands their home; whereas 
the English colonists looked only to realizing a fortune and return- 
ing home to spend it. All this is fully shown in the following ex- 
tract, in which is given a comparative view of the British and 
French Islands immediately before the emancipation act of 1832. 

* The houses have more of a European air than in our English colo- 
nies, and I must notice with praise the existence of four "booksellers' 
shops, as large and well furnished as any second-rate ones in Paris. 
The sight of books to sell in the West Indies is like water in the desert, 
for books are not yet included in plantation stores for our islands. 
The cause is this. The French colonists, whether Creoles or Euro- 
peans, consider the West Indies as their country ; they cast no wistful 
looks toward France : they have not even a packet of their own ; they 
marry, educate, and build in and for the West Indies and the West 
Indies alone. In our colonies it is quite different; except a few regu- 
lar Creoles to whom gratis rum and gratis coloured mothers for their 
children have become quite indispensable, every one regards the 
colony as a temporary lodging-place, where they must sojourn in sugar 
and molasses till their mortgages will let them live elsewhere. They 
call England their home, though many of them have never been there; 
they talk of writing home and going home, and pique themselves more 
on knowing the probable result of a contested election in England 
than on mending their roads, establishing a police, or purifying a 
prison. The French colonist deliberately expatriates himself; the 
Englishman never. If our colonies were to throw themselves into the 
hands of the North Americans, as their enemies say that some of them 
wish to do, the planters would make their little triennial trips to Xew 
York as they now do to London. The consequence of this feeling is 
that every one, who can do so, maintains some correspondence with 
England, and when any article is wanted, he sends to England for it. 
Hence, except in the case of chemical drugs, there is an inconsiderable 
market for an imported store of miscellaneous goods, much less for an 
assortment of articles of the same kind. A different feeling in Mar- 
tinique produces an opposite effect ; in that island very little individual 
correspondence exists with France, and consequently there is that 
effectual demand for books, wines, jewelry, haberdashery, &c, in the 
colony itself, which enables labour to be divided almost as far. as in 
the mother country. In St. Pierre there are many shops which con- 
tain nothing but bonnets, ribbons, and silks, others nothing but trinkets 
and toys, others hats only, and so on, and there are rich tradesmen in 
St. Pierre on this account. Bridge Town would rapidly become a 
wealthy place, if another system were adopted ; for not only would 
the public convenience be much promoted by a steady, safe, and 
abundant importation, and separate preservation of each article in 
common request, but the demand for those articles would be one hun- 
dred-fold greater in Bridge Town itself than it now is on the same 
account in London, Liverpool, or Bristol, when impeded or divided 
and frittered away by a system of parcel-sending across the Atlantic. 


Supply will, under particular circumstances, create demand. If a 
post were established at Barbadoes, or a steamboat started between 
the islands, a thousand letters would be written where there are one 
hundred now, and a hundred persons would interchange visits where 
ten hardly do at present. I want a book and cannot borrow it; I would 
purchase it instantly from my bookseller in my neighbourhood, but I 
may not think it worth my while to send for it oyer the ocean, when, 
with every risk, I must wait at the least three months for it. The 
moral consequences of this system are even more to be lamented than 
the economical, but I will say more about that at some other time."* 
In another part of the same work, the writer says — 

" Schools for the children of the slaves are the first and chief step 
toward amelioration of condition and morals in every class of people 
in the West Indies." 

Here, however, the same difficulty had existed. For the same 
reason that no towns could arise there could be no schools, and the 
planter found himself forced to send his children to England to be 
educated; the consequence of which was that at his death his pro- 
perty passed into the hands of agents, and his successors having 
contracted a fondness for European and a dislike for colonial 
life, remained abroad, leaving their estates to go to ruin, while their 
people perished under the lash of men who had no other interest 
than to ship the largest quantity of sugar, molasses, and rum. 
All this was a natural result of the system that denied to the 
women and children the privilege of converting cotton into cloth, 
or of giving themselves to other in-door pursuits. The mechanic 
was not needed where machinery could not be used, and without 
him there could grow up neither towns nor schools. 

The reader will have remarked, in the first extract above given, 
that the export of rum generally brought the planter in debt, and yet 
the price paid for it by the consumers appears to have been nearly 
a million of pounds sterling — that is, the people of England gave 
of labour and its products that large sum in exchange for a certain 
product of the labouring people of Jamaica, not a shilling of which 
ever reached the planter to be applied to the amelioration of the 
condition of his estate, or of the people upon it. The crop sold on 
its arrival at 3s. or 3s. Qd. a gallon, but the consumer paid for 
it probably 17s., which were thus divided: — 

* Coleridge's "Six Months in the West Indies/' 131. 


Government, representing the British people at large 11.3 

Ship-owners, wholesale and retail dealers, &c 5.9 

Land-owner and labourer 0.0 


If we look to sugar, we find a result somewhat better, but of 
similar character. The English consumer gave for it 80s. worth 
of labour, and those shillings were nearly thus divided : — 

Government 27 

Ship-owner, merchant, mortgagee, &c 33 

Land-owner and labourer 20 


The reader will now see that Mr. Joshua Gee was not exaggerat- 
ing when he gave it as one of the recommendations of the colonial 
system that the colonists left in England three-fourths of all their 
products,* the difference being swallowed up by those who made 
or superintended the exchanges. Such was the result desired by 
those who compelled the planter to depend on a distant market in 
which to sell all he raised, and to buy all he and his people needed 
to consume. The more he took out of his land the more he ex- 
hausted it and the less he obtained for its products, for large crops 
made large freights, large charges for storage, and enormous col- 
lections by the government, while prices fell because of the size 
of the crop, and thus was he ruined while all others were being 
enriched. Under such circumstances he could not purchase ma- 
chinery for the improvement of his cultivation, and thus was he de- 
prived of the power to render available the services of the people 
whom he was bound to support. Master of slaves, he was himself 
a slave to those by whom the labours of himself and his workmen 
were directed, and it would be unfair to attribute to him the ex- 
traordinary waste of life resulting necessarily from the fact that 
the whole people were limited to the labours of the field. 

With inexhaustible supplies of timber, the island contained, 
even in 1850, not a siDgle sawmill, although it afforded an exten- 
sive market for lumber from abroad. Yielding in the greatest 

* See pages 71-2, ante. 


abundance the finest fruits, there were yet no town's-people with 
their little vessels to carry them to the larger markets of this 
country, and for want of market they rotted under the trees. " The 
manufacturing resources of this island," says Mr. Bigelow, "are 
inexhaustible ;" and so have they always been, but the people have 
been deprived of all power to profit by them, and for want of that 
power there was lost annually a greater amount of labour than 
would have paid, five times over, for the commodities for which 
they were compelled to look to the distant market. Of those who 
did not perish because of the necessity for an universal dependence 
on field employments, a large portion of the labour was then, as it 
now must be, utterly wasted. " For six or eight months of the 
year, nothing," says Mr. Bigelow, (Notes, p. 54,) "is done on the 
sugar or coffee plantations." "Agriculture," he continues, "as at 
present conducted, does not occupy more than half their time." 
So was it fifty years ago, and it was because of the compulsory 
waste of labour and consequent small amount of productive 
power that there existed little opportunity for accumulating 
capital. Population diminished because there could be no im- 
provement of the condition of the labourer who, while thus limit- 
ed in the employment of his time, was compelled to support 
not only himself and his master, but the agent, the commission- 
merchant, the ship-owner, the mortgagee, the retail trader, and the 
government, and this under a system that looked to taking every 
thiDg from the land and returning nothing to it. Of the amount 
paid in 1831 by the British people for the products of the 320,000 
black labourers of this island, the home government took no less 
than £3,736,113 10s. 6c/.,* or about eighteen millions of dollars, 
being almost sixty dollars per head, and this for merely superin- 
tending the exchanges. Had no such claim been made on the 
product of the labour of these poor people, the consumer would 
have had his sugar cheaper, and this would have made a large 
consumption, and these eighteen millions would have been 
divided between the black labourer on the one hand and the white 
one on the other. It would be quite safe to assert that in that year 

* Martin's "West Indies. 


each negro, old and young, male and female, contributed five 
pounds — $24 — to the maintenance of the British government, and 
this was a heavy amount of taxation to be borne by a people limited 
entirely to agriculture and destitute of the machinery necessary 
for making even that productive. If now to this heavy burden 
be added the commissions, freights, insurance, interest, and other 
charges, it will readily be seen that a system of taxation so grind- 
ing could end no otherwise than in ruin ; and that such was the 
tendency of things was seen in the steady diminution of production. 
In the three years ending with 1802, the average exports were, of 

Sugar, hhcls. Rum, puncheons. Coffee, lbs. 

113,000 44,000 14,000,000 
Whereas those of the three years 

ending with 1829 were only 92,000 34,000 17,000,000 

The system which looked to depriving the cultivator of the advan- 
tage of a market near at hand, to which he could carry his products, 
and from which he could carry home the manure and thus main- 
tain the powers of his land, was thus producing its natural results. 
It was causing the slave to become from day to day more enslaved ; 
and that such was the case is shown by the excess of deaths over 
births, as given in a former chapter. Evidence of exhaustion was 
seen in every thing connected with the island. Labour and land 
were declining in value, and the security for the payment of the 
large debt due to mortgagees in England was becoming less from 
year to year, as more and more the people of other countries were 
being driven to the work of cultivation because of the impossibility 
of competing with England in manufactures. Sugar had declined 
to little more than a guinea a hundred-weight, and rum had fallen 
to little more than two shillings a gallon f* and nearly the whole 
of this must have been swallowed up in commissions and interest. 
Under such circumstances a great waste of life was inevitable ; 
and therefore it is that we have seen importations of hundreds of 
thousands of black men, who have perished, leaving behind them no 

* Tooke's History of Prices, vol. ii. 412. 


trace of their having ever existed. But on whom must rest the 
responsibility for a state of things so hideous as that here exhibited? 
Not, surely, upon the planter, for he exercised no volition whatso- 
ever. He was not permitted to employ his surplus power in refin- 
ing his own sugar. He could not legally introduce a spindle or a 
loom into the island. He could neither mine coal nor smelt iron 
ore. He could not in any manner repay his borrowings from the 
land, and, as a matter of course, the loans he could obtain dimi- 
nished in quantity ; and then, small as they were, the chief part 
of what his commodities exchanged for was swallowed up by the 
exchangers and those who superintend the exchanges, exercising 
the duties of government. He was a mere instrument in their 
hands for the destruction of negro morals, intellect, and life ; and 
upon them, and not upon him, must rest the responsibility for the 
fact that, of all the slaves imported into the island, not more than 
two-fifths were represented on the day of emancipation. 

Nevertheless, he it was that was branded as the tyrant 
and the destroyer of morals and of life ; and public opinion — the 
public opinion of the same people who had absorbed so large a 
portion of the product of negro labour — drove the government to 
the measure of releasing the slave from compulsory service, and 
appropriating a certain amount to the payment, first, of the mort- 
gage debts due in England, and, second, of the owner, who, even 
if he found his land delivered to him free of incumbrance, was 
in most cases left without a shilling to enable him to carry on 
the work of his plantation. The slaves were set free, but there 
existed no capital to find them employment, and from the moment 
of emancipation it became almost impossible to borrow money on 
mortgage security. The consequences are seen in the extensive 
abandonment of land and the decline of its value. Any quantity 
of it may be purchased, prepared for cultivation, and as fine as any 
in the island, for five dollars an acre, while other land, far more 
productive than any in New England, may be had at from fifty 
cents to one dollar. With the decline in the value of land the 
labourer tends toward barbarism, and the reason of this may be 
found on a perusal of the following paragraph : — 


" They have no new manufactories to resort to when the} r are in 
want of work ; no unaccustomed departments of mechanical or agri- 
cultural labour are open to receive them, to stimulate their ingenuity 
and reward their industry. When they know how to ply the hoe, 
pick the coffee-berry, and tend the sugar-mills, they have learned 
almost all the industry of the island can teach them. If, in the six- 
teen years during which the negroes have enjoyed their freedom, they 
have made less progress in civilization than their philanthropic cham- 
pions have promised or anticipated, let the want I have suggested 
receive some consideration. It may be that even a white peasantry 
would degenerate under such influences. Reverse this, and when the 
negro has cropped his sugar or his coffee, create a demand for his 
labour in the mills and manufactories of which nature has invited the 
establishment on this island, and before another sixteen years would 
elapse the world would probably have some new facts to assist them 
in estimating the natural capabilities of the negro race, of more 
efficiency in the hands of the philanthropist than all the appeals 
which he has ever been able to address to the hearts or the con- 
sciences of men." Bigelow's Jamaica, p. 156. 

The artisan has always been the ally of the agriculturist in his 
contest with the trader and the government, as is shown in the 
whole history of the world. The first desires to tax him by buy- 
ing cheaply and selling dearly. The second desires to tax him for 
permitting him to make his exchanges, and the more distant the 
place of exchange, the greater the power of taxation. The artisan 
comes near to him, and enables him to have the raw materials com- 
bined on the spot, the producer of them exchanging directly with 
the consumer, paying no tax for the maintenance of ship-owners, 
commission merchants, or shopkeepers. 

In a piece of cloth, says Adam Smith, weighing eighty pounds, 
there are not only more than eighty pounds of wool, but also 
" several thousand weight of corn, the maintenance of the working 
people/' and it is the wool and the corn that travel cheaply in the 
form of cloth. What, however, finally becomes of the corn ? 
Although eaten, it is not destroyed. It goes back again on the 
land, which becomes enriched; and the more that is taken from 
it, the more there is to be returned, the more it is enriched, the 
larger are the crops, and the greater is the ability of the farmer to 
make demands on the artisan. The reward of the latter increases 
with the growth in the value of the land and with the increase in 
the wealth of the land-owners by whom he is surrounded; and 


thus it is that all grow rich and free together, and that the com- 
munity acquires from year to year power to resist attempts at 
taxation beyond that really needed for the maintenance of the 
rights of person and property. The greater the power to make 
exchanges at home, the greater will always be found the freedom 
of man in relation to thought, speech, action, and trade, and the 
greater the value of land. 

The object of the policy pursued toward the colonies was directly 
the reverse of all this, tending to prevent any diversification what- 
soever of employments, and thus not only to prevent increase in the 
value of land, but to diminish its value, because it forbade the re- 
turn to the earth of any portion of its products. It forbade asso- 
ciation, because it limited the whole people to a single pursuit. It 
forbade the immigration of artisans, the growth of towns, the 
establishment of schools, and consequently forbade the growth of 
intellect among the labourers or their owners. It forbade the 
growth of population, because it drove the women and the children 
to the culture of sugar among the richest and most unhealthy soils 
of the islands. It thus impoverished the land and its owners, ex- 
terminated the slave, and weakened the community, thus making 
it a mere instrument in the hands of the people who effected and 
superintended the exchanges — the merchants and the government 
— the class of persons that, in all ages, has thriven at the cost of 
the cultivator of the earth. By separating the consumer from the 
producer, they were enabled, as has been shown, to take to them- 
selves three-fourths of the whole sales of the commodities con- 
sumed, leaving but one-fourth to be divided between the land and 
labour that had produced it. They, of course, grew strong, while 
the sugar-producing land and labour grew weak, and the weaker 
they became, the less was the need for regarding the rights of 
either. In this state of things it was that the landholder was re- 
quired to accept a fixed sum of money as compensation for relin- 
quishing his claim to demand of the labourer the performance of 
the work to which he had been accustomed. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, the system pursued has effectually prevented that improve- 
ment of feeling and taste needed to produce in the latter desires 


for any thing beyond a sufficiency of food and a shirt. Towns 
and shops not having grown, he had not been accustomed even to 
see the commodities that tempted his fellow-labourers in the 
French Islands. Schools not having existed, even for the whites, 
he had acquired no desire for books for himself, or for instruc- 
tion for his children. His wife had acquired no taste for dress, 
because she had been limited to field labour. Suddenly emanci- 
pated from control, they gratified the only desire that had been 
permitted to grow up in them — the love of perfect idleness, to be 
indulged to such extent as was consistent with obtaining the little 
food and clothing needed for the maintenance of existence. 

Widely different would have been the state of affairs had they 
been permitted to make their exchanges at home, giving the cotton 
and the sugar for the cloth and the iron produced by the labour 
and from the soil of the island. The producer of the sugar would 
then have had all the cloth given for it by the consumer, instead 
of obtaining one-fourth of it, and then the land would have in- 
creased in value, the planter would have grown rich, and the 
labourer would have become free, by virtue of a great natural 
law which provides that the more rapid the augmentation of 
wealth, the greater must be the demand for labour, the greater 
must be the quantity of commodities produced by the labourer, 
the larger must be his proportion of the product, and the greater 
must be the tendency toward his becoming a free man and himself 
a capitalist.* 

As a consideration for abstaining from converting their own 
sugar and cotton into cloth, it had been provided that their pro- 
ducts should enjoy certain advantages in the ports of the mother 
country ; and the understanding at the date of emancipation was 
that the free negro should continue in the enjoyment of the same pri- 
vileges that had been allowed to the slave and his master. It was 
soon, however, discovered that the negro, having scarcely any desire 
beyond the food that could be obtained from a little patch of land, 

* The reader who may desire to see this law fully demonstrated, may do so on 
referring to the author's Principles of Political Economy, vol. i. chap. v. 



would not work, and that, consequently, the supply of sugar was 
reduced, with a large increase of price, and that thus the ship- 
owner suffered because of diminished freights, the merchant 
because of reduced consumption, and the government because of 
reduced revenue. Instead of obtaining, as before, one-fourth of the 
product, the cultivator had now perhaps one-half, because the taxes 
did not rise with the rise of price. Nevertheless, the land-owners 
and labourers of the island were weaker than before, for all power 
of association had disappeared ; and now it was that the trader and 
the government discovered that if they would continue to draw 
from the sugar producers of the world their usual supplies of pub- 
lic and private revenue, they must resort again to slave labour, 
putting the poor free negro of Jamaica, with his exhausted soil, 
on the same footing with the slave of Brazil and Cuba, on a virgin 
soil; and this, too, at a moment when the science of Europe had 
triumphed over the difficulty of making sugar cheaply from the 
beet-root, and Germany, France, and Belgium were threatening to 
furnish supplies so abundant as almost to exclude the produce of the 
cane. They, too, had the sugar-refinery close at hand, whereas 
the poor free negro was not permitted to refine his product, nor is 
he so even noiv, although it is claimed that sugar might still be 
grown with advantage, were he permitted to exercise even that 
small amount of control over his labour and its products. 

What was the character of the machinery with which they 
were to enter on this competition will be seen by the following 
extract : — 

" I could not learn that there were any estates on the island decently 
stocked with implements of husbandry. Even the modern axe is not 
in general use ; for felling the larger class of trees the negroes com- 
monly use what they call an axe, which is shaped much like a wedge, 
except that it is a little wider at the edge than at the opposite end, at 
the very extremity of which a perfectly straight handle is inserted. 
A more awkward thing for chopping could not be well conceived — at 
least, so I thought until I saw the instrument in yet more general use 
about the houses in the country, for cutting firewood. It was, in 
shape, size, and appearance, more like the outer half of the blade of a 
scythe, stuck into a small wooden handle, than any thing else I can 
compare it to : with this long knife, for it is nothing else, I have seen 
negroes hacking at branches of palm for several minutes, to accom- 


plish what a good wood-chopper, with an American axe, would finish 
at a single stroke. I am not now speaking of the poorer class of negro 
proprietors, whose poverty or ignorance might excuse this, but of the 
proprietors of large estates, which have cost their thousands of 

Cuba, too, had its cities and its shops, and these it had because 
the Spanish government had not desired to compel the people of 
the island to limit themselves to cultivation alone. Manufactures 
were small in extent, but they existed; and the power to make 
exchanges on the spot had tended to prevent the growth of ab- 
senteeism. The land-owners were present to look after their 
estates, and every thing therefore tended toward improvement and 
civilization, with constantly increasing attraction of both capital 
and labour. Jamaica, on the contrary, had but a seaport so poor 
as not to have a single foot of sidewalk paved, and of which three- 
fourths of the inhabitants were of the black race; and among them 
all, blacks and whites, there were no mechanics. In the capital 
of the island, Spanishtown, with a population of 5000, there was 
not to be found, in 1850, a single shop, nor a respectable hotel, 
nor even a dray-cart ;f and in the whole island there was not a 
stage, nor any other mode of regular conveyance, by land or water, 
except on the little railroad of fifteen miles from Kingston to the 
capital. X 

Such was the machinery of production, transportation, and ex- 
change, by aid of which the free people of Jamaica were to main- 
tain " unlimited competition" with Cuba, and its cities, railroads, 
and virgin soil, and with Europe and its science. What is to be 
the ultimate result may be inferred from the following comparative 
view of the first four years of the century, and the last four for 
which we have returns : — 

Sugar, hhds. Rum, puncheons. Coffee, lbs. " 

1800 to 1803, average export, 124,000 44,000 14,600,000 
1845 to 1848, « " 44,000 17,000 6,000,000 

The consequence of this is seen in the fact that it requires the 

* Bigelow, Notes, 129. Ibid, 31. J Ibid, 69. 


wages of two men, for a day, to pay for a pound of butter, and of two 
women to pay for a pound of ham, while it would need the labour 
of eighty or a hundred men, for a day, to pay for a barrel of 
flour.* The London Times has recently stated that the free 
labourer now obtains less food than he did in the days of slavery, 
and there appears no reason to doubt the accuracy of its informa- 
tion. This view would, indeed, seem to be fully confirmed by the 
admission, in the House of Commons, that the cost of sugar "in 
labour and food" is less now than it was six years since. f 

How indeed can it be otherwise ? The object sought for is cheap 
sugar, and with a view to its attainment the production of sugar is 
stimulated in every quarter; and we all know that the more that is 
produced the larger will be the quantity poured into the market 
of England, and the greater will be the power of the people of 
that country to dictate the terms upon which they will consent to 
consume it. Extensive cultivation and good crops produce low 
prices, high freights, large commissions, and large revenue; and 
when such crops are made the people of England enjoy " cheap 
sugar" and are "prosperous," but the slave is rendered thereby 
more a slave, obtaining less and less food in return for his labour. 
Nevertheless, it is in that direction that the whole of the present 
policy of England points. The " prosperity" of her people is to 
be secured by aid of cheap sugar and high-priced cloth and iron; 
and the more exclusively the people of India and of Brazil can be 
forced to devote themselves to the labours of the field, the cheaper 
will be sugar and the greater will be the tendency of cloth and 
iron to be dear. What, however, becomes of the poor free negro ? 
The more sugar he sends the more the stocks accumulate, and the 
lower are the prices, and the smaller is his power to purchase 
clothing or machinery, as will now be shown. 

* Bigelow, 125. 

f Speech of Mr. James Wilson, December 10, 1852. On the same occasion it 
■was stated that "the lower orders" are daily "putting aside all decency," while 
u the better class appear to have lost all hope," and that the Governor, Sir 
Charles Grey, " described things as going on from bad to worse." The cholera 
had carried off, as was stated, 40,000 persons. 


Tage 93, line 10, for 509, read 509.000. 




2,395,000 . 

.. 3,S10,000 . 

.. 3,216,000 

20 to 27s. .. 

,.16 to 22s. . 

,. 19 to 26s. 

IS to 22*. ., 

;. 12 to 17s. . 

.. 16 to 20s. 


The London Economist, of November 13, furnishes the following 
statement of stocks and prices of sugar in the principal markets of 
Europe : — 

18 19. 

Stocks cwt, 3,563,000 

Prices — duty free. 

Havana Brown 17 to 24s. 

Brazil Brown 16 to 20s. 

The stocks of 1849 and 1852 were, as we see, nearly alike, and 
the prices did not greatly differ. Taking them, therefore, as the 
standard, we see that a diminution of supply so small as to cause 
a diminution of stock to the extent of about 400,000 cwts., or only 
about three per cent, of the import, added about fifteen per cent, to 
the prices of the whole crop in 1850 ) whereas a similar excess of 
supply in 1851 caused a reduction of prices almost as great. The 
actual quantity received in Europe in the first ten months of the 
last year had been 509 cwts. less than in the corresponding 
months of the previous one. The average monthly receipts are 
about a million of cwts. per month, and if we take the prices of 
those two years as a standard, the following will be the result : — 

]851 12,000,000 cwts. Average 16s. M £10,050,000 

1852 11,500,000 " u 20s. 3^ 11,643,750 

Gain on short crop 1,593,750 

If now we compare 1850 with 1851, the following is the result : — 

1851 as above 10,050,000 

1850 11,000,000 cwts. Average 21s. 9d 11,971,250 

Now if this reduction of export had been a conse- 
quence of increased domestic consumption, we should 
have to add the value of that million to the product, 
and this would give 1,187,500 


"We have here a difference of thirty per cent, resulting from a 
diminution of export to the amount of one-twelfth of the export to 
Europe, and not more than a twenty-fourth of the whole crop. 
Admitting the €rop to have been 24,000,000 of cwts., and it must 


have been more, the total difference produced by this abstraction 
of four per cent, from the markets of Europe would be more than 
six millions of pounds, or thirty millions of dollars. Such being 
the result of a difference of four per cent., if the people of Cuba, 
Brazil, India, and other countries were to turn some of their labour 
to the production of cloth, iron, and other commodities for which 
they are now wholly dependent on Europe, and thus diminish 
their necessity for export to the further extent of two per cent., 
is it not quite certain that the effect would be almost to double the 
value of the sugar crop of the world, to the great advantage of 
the free cultivator of Jamaica, who would realize more for his 
sugar, while obtaining his cloth and his iron cheaper? If he could 
do this would he not become a freer man? Is not this, however, 
directly the reverse of what is sought by those who believe the 
prosperity of England to be connected with cheap sugar, and who 
therefore desire that competition for the sale of sugar should be 
unlimited, while competition for the sale of cloth is to be limited ? 
" Unlimited competition" looks to competition for the sale of 
raw produce in the markets of England, and to the destruction of 
any competition with England for the sale of manufactured goods; 
and it is under this system that the poor labourer of Jamaica is 
being destroyed. He is now more a slave than ever, because his 
labour yields him less of the necessaries and comforts of life than 
when a master was bound to provide for him. 

Such is a brief history of West India slavery, from its com- 
mencement to the present day, and from it the reader will be 
enabled to form an estimate of the judgment which dictated im- 
mediate and unconditional emancipation, and of the humanity that 
subsequently dictated unlimited freedom of competition for the 
sale of sugar. That of those who advocated emancipation vast 
numbers were actuated by the most praiseworthy motives, there can 
be no doubt; but unenlightened enthusiasm has often before led 
almost to crime, and it remains to be seen if the impartial histo- 
rian will not, at a future day, say that such has been here the case. 
As regards the course which has been since pursued toward these 


impoverished, ignorant, and defenceless people, he will perhaps 
have less difficulty; and it is possible that in recording it, the 
motives which led to it, and the results, he may find himself 
forced to place it among crimes of the deepest dye. 



The first attempt at manufacturing any species of cloth in the 
North American provinces produced a resolution on the part of 
the House of Commons, [1710,] that " the erecting of manufacto- 
ries in the colonies had a tendency to lessen their dependence on 
Great Britain." Soon afterward complaints were made to Parlia- 
ment that the colonists were establishing manufactories for them- 
selves, and the House of Commons ordered the Board of Trade to 
report on the subject, which was done at great length. In 1732, 
the exportation of hats from province to province was prohibited, 
and the number of apprentices to be taken by hatters was limited. 
In 1750 the erection of any mill or other engine for splitting or 
rolling iron was prohibited; but pig iron was allowed to be im- 
ported into England duty free, that it might there be manufactured 
and sent back again. At a later period, Lord Chatham declared 
that he would not permit the colonists to make even a hobnail for 
themselves — and his views were then and subsequently carried into 
effect by the absolute prohibition in 1765 of the export of artisans, 
in 1781 of woollen machinery, in 1782 of cotton machinery and 
artificers in cotton, in 1785 of iron and steel-making machinery 
and workmen in those departments of trade, and in 1799 by the 
prohibition of the export of colliers, lest other countries should 
acquire the art of mining coal. 

The tendency of the system has thus uniformly been — 
I. To prevent the application of labour elsewhere than in Eng- 
land to any pursuit but that of agriculture, and thus to deprive the 


weaker portion of society — the women and children — of any em- 
ployment but in the field. 

II. To compel whole populations to produce the same commodi- 
ties, and thus to deprive them of the power to make exchanges 
among themselves. 

III. To compel them, therefore, to export to England all their 
produce in its rudest forms, at great cost of transportation. 

IY. To deprive them of all power of returning to the land the 
manure yielded by its products, and thus to compel them to ex- 
haust their land. 

V. To deprive them of the power of associating together for the 
building of towns, the establishment of schools, the making of 
roads, or the defence of their rights. 

VI. To compel them, with every step in the process of exhaust- 
ing the land, to increase their distances from each other and from 

VII. To compel the waste of all labour that could not be em- 
ployed in the field. 

VIII. To compel the waste of all the vast variety of things 
almost valueless in themselves, but which acquire value as men 
are enabled to work in combination with each other.* 

* The following case illustrates in a very striking manner the value that is 
given to things that must he wasted among an exclusively agricultural popula- 
tion, — and it is hut one of thousands that might be adduced : 

What old Boxes and Bits of Skin may be good for. — How to get a penny- 
worth of beauty out of old bones and bits of skin, is a problem which the French 
gelatine makers have solved very prettily. Does the reader remember some 
gorgeous sheets of colored gelatine in the French department of the Great 
Exhibition ? We owed them to the slaughter-houses of Paris. These establish- 
ments are so well organized and conducted, that all the refuse is carefully 
preserved, to be applied to any purposes for which it may be deemed fitting. 
Very pure gelatine is made from the waste fragments of skin, bone, tendon, liga- 
ture, and gelatinous tissue of the animals slaughtered in the Parisian abbatoirs, 
and thin sheets of this gelatine are made to receive very rich and beautiful colors. 
As a gelatinous liquid, when melted, it is used in the dressing of woven stuffs, 
and in the clarification of wine ; and as a solid, it is cut into threads for the orna- 
mental uses of the confectioner, or made into very thin white sheets of papier 
glace, for copying, drawing, or applied to the making of artificial flowers, or used 
as a substitute for paper, on which gold printing may be executed. In good 
sooth, when an ox has given us our beef, and our leather, and our tallow, his ca- 
reer of usefulness is by no means ended; we can get a penny out of him as long 
as there is a scrap of his substance above ground. — Household Words. 


IX. To prevent increase in the value of land and in the demand 
for the labour of man; and, 

X. To prevent advance toward civilization and freedom. 

That such were the tendencies of the system was seen by the 
people of the colonies. " It is well known and understood," said 
Franklin, in 1771, "that whenever a manufacture is established 
which employs a number of hands, it raises the value of lands in 
the neighbouring country all around it, partly by the greater de- 
mand near at hand for the produce of the land, and partly from the 
plenty of money drawn by the manufactures to that part of the 
country. It seems, therefore," he continued, u the interest of 
all our farmers and owners of lands, to encourage our young manu- 
factures in preference to foreign ones imported among us from dis- 
tant countries." Such was the almost universal feeling of the 
country, and to the restriction on the power to aj>ply labour was 
due, in a great degree, the Revolution. 

The power to compel the colonists to make all their exchanges 
abroad gave to the merchants of England, and to the government, 
the same power of taxation that we see to have been so freely exer- 
cised in regard to sugar. In a paper published in 1750, in the 
London General Advertiser, it was stated that Virginia then exported 
50,000 hhds. of tobacco, producing £550,000, of which the ship- 
owner, the underwriter, the commission merchant, and the govern- 
ment took £450,000, leaving to be divided between the land-owner 
and labourer only £100,000, or about eighteen per cent., which is 
less even than the proportion stated by Gee, in his work of that 
date. Under -such circumstances the planter could accumulate little 
capital to aid him in the improvement of his cultivation. 

The Revolution came, and thenceforward there existed no legal 
impediments to the establishment of home markets by aid of which 
the farmer might be enabled to lessen the cost of transporting his 
produce to market, and his manure from market, thus giving to his 
land some of those advantages of situation which elsewhere add so 
largely "to its value. The prohibitory laws had, however, had the 
effect of preventing the gradual growth of the mechanic arts, and 
Virginia had no towns of any note, while to the same circumstances 



was due the fact that England was prepared to put down all at- 
tempts at competition with her in the manufacture of cloth, or of 
iron. The territory of the former embraced forty millions of acres, 
and her widely scattered population amounted to little more than 
600,000. At the Xorth, some descriptions of manufacture had 
grown slowly up, and the mechanics were much more numerous, 
and towns had gradually grown to be very small cities; the conse- 
quence of which was that the farmer there, backed by the artisan, 
always his ally, was more able to protect himself against the trader, 
who represented the foreign manufacturer. Everywhere, however, 
the growth of manufactures was slow, and everywhere, consequently, 
the farmer was seen exhausting his land in growing wheat, tobacco, 
and other commodities, to be sent to distant markets, from which 
no manure could be returned. With the exhaustion of the land 
its owners became, of course, impoverished, and there arose a ne- 
cessity for the removal of the people who cultivated it, to new 
lands, to be in turn exhausted. In the North, the labourer thus 
circumstanced, removed himself. In the South, he had to be re- 
moved. Sometimes the planter abandoned his land and travelled 
forth with all his people, but more frequently he found himself 
compelled to part with some of his slaves to others; and thus has 
the domestic slave trade grown by aid of the exhaustive process to 
which the land and its owner have been subjected. 

The reader may obtain some idea of the extent of the exhaustion 
that has taken place, by a perusal of the following extracts from an 
address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle County, Virginia, 
by one of the best authorities of the State, the Hon. Andrew Ste- 
venson, late Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Minister 
to England. 

Looking to what is the "real situation" of things, the speaker 
asks — 

"Is there an intelligent and impartial man who can cast his eyes 
over the State and not be impressed with the truth, deplorable as it is 
afflicting, that the produce of most of our lands is not only small'in pro- 
portion to the extent in cultivation, but that the lands themselves have 
been gradually sinking and becoming worse, under a most defective 
and ruinous system of cultivation?" " The truth is," he continues, 


"we must all feel and know that the spirit of agricultural improvement 
has been suffered to languish too long in Virginia, and that it is now 
reaching a point, in the descending scale, from which, if it is not re- 
vived, and that very speedily, our State must continue not only third 
or fourth in population, as she now is, but consent to take her station 
among her smaller sisters of the Union." 

The cause of this unhappy state of things he regards as being to 
be found in " a disregard of scientific knowledge" and " a deep- 
rooted attachment to old habits of cultivation/' together with the 
"practice of hard cropping and injudicious rotation of crops, leading 
them to cultivate more land than they can manure, or than they 
have means of improving •" and the consequences are found in the 
fact that in all the country east of the Blue Ridge, the average 
product of wheat "does not come up to seven bushels to the acre," 
four of which are required to restore the seed and defray the cost 
of cultivation, leaving to the land-owner for his own services and 
those of a hundred acres of land, three hundred bushels, worth, at 
present prices, probably two hundred and seventy dollars ! Even 
this, however, is not as bad an exhibit as is produced in reference 
to another populous district of more than a hundred miles in length 
— that between Lynchburg and Richmond — in which the product 
is estimated at not exceeding six bushels to the acre! Under such 
circumstances, we can scarcely be surprised to learn from the 
speaker that the people of his great State, where meadows abound 
and marl exists in unlimited quantity, import potatoes from the 
poor States of the North, and are compelled to be dependent upon 
them for hay and butter, the importers of which realize fortunes, 
while the farmers around them are everywhere exhausting their 
land and obtaining smaller crops in each successive year. 

Why is this so? Why should Virginia import potatoes and hay, 
cheese and butter ? An acre of potatoes may be made to yield four 
hundred bushels, and meadows yield hay by tons, and yet her 
people raise wheat, of which they obtain six or seven bushels to 
the acre, and corn, of which they obtain fifteen or twenty, and with 
the produce of these they buy butter and cheese, pork and potatoes, 
which yield to the producer five dollars where they get one — and 
import many of these things, too, from States in which manufactur- 


ing populations abound, and in which all these commodities should, 
in the natural course of things, be higher in price than in Virginia, 
where all, even when employed, are engaged in the cultivation of 
the soil. The answer to these questions is to be found in the fact 
that the farmers and planters of the State can make no manure. 
They raise wheat and corn, which they send elsewhere to be con- 
sumed; and the people among whom it is consumed put the refuse 
on their own lands, and thus are enabled to raise crops that count 
by tons, which they then exchange with the producers of the wheat 
produced on land that yields six bushels to the acre. 

"How many of our people," continues the speaker, "do we see dis- 
posing of their lands at ruinous prices, and relinquishing their birth- 
places and friends, to settle themselves in the West; and many not so 
much from choice as from actual inability to support their families and 
rear and educate their children out of the produce of their exhausted 
lands — once fertile, but rendered barren and unproductive by a ruinous 
system of cultivation. 

"And how greatly is this distress heightened, in witnessing, as we 
often do, the successions and reverses of this struggle between going 
and staying, on the part of many emigrants. And how many are there, 
who after removing, remain only a few years, and then return to seize 
again upon a portion of their native land, and die where they were 
born. How strangely does it remind us of the poor shipwrecked mari- 
ner, who, touching in the midst of the storm the shore, lays hold of it, 
but is borne seaward by the receding wave; but struggling back, torn 
and lacerated, he grasps again the rock, with bleeding hands, and still 
clings to it, as a last and forlorn hope. Nor is this to be wondered at. 
Perhaps it was the home of his childhood — the habitation of his fathers 
for past generations — the soil upon which had been expended the 
savings and nourishment, the energies and virtues of a long life — 'the 
sweat of the living, and the ashes of the dead.' 

"Oh! how hard to break such ties as these. 

"This is no gloomy picture of the imagination; but a faithful repre- 
sentation of what most of us know and feel to be true. Who is it that 
has not had some acquaintance or neighbour — some friend, perhaps 
some relative, forced into this current of emigration, and obliged from 
necessity, in the evening, probably, of a long life, to abandon his State 
and friends, and the home of his fathers and childhood, to seek a pre- 
carious subsistence in the supposed El Dorados of the West?" 

This is a terrible picture, and yet it is but the index to one still 

worse that must follow in its train. Well does the hon. speaker 

say that — 

"There is another evil attending this continual drain of our popula- 
tion to the West, next in importance to the actual loss of the population 


itself, and that is, its tendency to continue and enlarge our wretched 
•system of cultivation. 

"The moment some persons feel assured that for present gain they 
can exhaust the fertility of their lands in the old States, and theu 
abandon them for those in the AVest, which, being rich, require neither 
the aid of science nor art, the natural tendency is at once to give over 
all efforts at improvement themselves, and kill their land as quickly as 
possible — then sell it for what it will bring or abandon it as a waste. 
And such will be found to be the case with too many of the emigrants 
from the lowlands of Virginia." 

Another distinguished Virginian, Mr. Ruffin, in urging an effort 
to restore the lands that have been exhausted, and to bring into 
activity the rich ones that have never been drained, estimates the 
advantages to be derived by Lower Virginia alone at 8500,000,000. 
''The strength, physical, intellectual, and moral, as well as the 
revenue of the commonwealth, will," he says, 

" Soon derive new and great increase from the growing improve- 
ments of that one and the smallest of the great divisions of her terri- 
tory, which was the poorest by natural constitution — still more the 
poorest by long exhausting tillage — its best population gone or going 
away, and the remaining portion sinking into apathy and degradation, 
and having no hope left except that which was almost universally 
entertained of fleeing from the ruined country and renewing the like 
work of destruction on the fertile lands of the far West." 

If we look farther South, we find the same state of affairs. 
North Carolina abounds in rich lands, undrained and uncultivated, 
and coal and iron or£ abound. Her area is greater than that of 
Ireland, and yet her population is but 868,000 ; and it has in- 
creased only 130,000 in twenty years, and, from 1830 to 1840, 
the increase was only 16,000. In South Carolina, men have been 
everywhere doing precisely what has been described in reference 
to Virginia; and yet the State has, says Governor Seabrook, in 
his address to the State Agricultural Society, " millions of un- 
cleared acres of unsurpassed fertility, which seem to solicit a trial 
of their powers from the people of the plantation States." * * 
" In her borders," he continues, " there is scarcely a vegetable 
product essential to the human race that cannot be furnished." 
Marl and lime abound, millions of acres of rich meadow-land 
remain in a state of nature, and " the seashore parishes," he adds, 
" possess unfailing supplies of salt mud, salt grass, and shell-lime." 



So great, nevertheless, was the tendency to the abandonment of the 
land, that in the ten years from 1830 to 1840 the white popula- 
tion increased but 1000 and the black but 12,000, whereas the na- 
tural increase would have given 150,000 ! 

Allowing Virginia, at the close of the Revolution, 600,000 peo- 
ple, she should now have, at the usual rate of increase, and exclud- 
ing all allowance for immigration, 4,000,000, or one to every ten 
acres ; and no one at all familiar with the vast advantages of the 
state can doubt her capability of supporting more than thrice that 
number.* Nevertheless, the total number in 1850 was but 
1,424,000, and the increase in twenty years had been but 
200,000, when it should have been 1,200,000. If the reader 
desire to know what has become of all these people, he may find 
most of them among the millions now inhabiting Alabama and 
Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas; and if he would 
know why they are now there to be found, the answer to the ques- 
tion may be given in the words — " They borrowed from the earth, 
and they did not repay, and therefore she expelled them." It has 
been said, and truly said, that " the nation which commences by 
exporting food will end by exporting men." 

When men come together and combine their efforts, they are 
enabled to bring into activity all the vast and various powers 
of the earth; and the more they come together, the greater is the 
value of land, the greater the demand for labour, the higher its 
price, and the greater the freedom of man. When, on the con- 
trary, they separate from each other, the greater is the tendency 
to a decline in the value of land, the less is the value of labour, 
and the less the freedom of man. Such being the case, if we de- 
sire to ascertain the ultimate cause of the existence of the domestic 
slave trade, it would seem to be necessary only to ascertain the 
cause of the exhaustion of the land. The reason usually assigned 
for this will be found in the following passage, extracted from one 
of the English journals of the day : — 

* The superficial area of the State is 64,000 square miles, being greater than 
that of England, and double that of Ireland. 


"The mode of agriculture usually coincident with the employment 
of slave labour is essentially exhaustive, and adapted therefore only to 
the virgin richness of a newly-colonized soil. The slave can plant, 
and dig, and hoe : he works rudely and lazily with rude tools : and 
his unwilling feet tread the same path of enforced labour day after 
day. But slave labour is not adapted to the operations of scientific 
agriculture, which restores its richness to a wornout soil ; and it is 
found to be a fact that the planters of the Northern slave States, as, 
e. g., Virginia, gradually desert the old seats of civilization, and ad- 
vance further and further into the yet untilled country. Tobacco was 
the great staple of Virginian produce for many years after that beau- 
tiful province was colonized by Englishmen. It has exhausted the soil ; 
grain crops have succeeded, and been found hardly less exhaustive ; and 
emigration of both white and coloured population to the West and South 
has taken place to a very large extent. The result may be told in the 
words of an American witness : — • That part of Virginia which lies upon 
tide waters presents an aspect of universal decay. Its population dimi- 
nishes, and it sinks day by day into a lower depth of exhaustion and 
poverty. The country between tide waters and the Blue Ridge is fast 
passing into the same condition. Mount Vernon is a desert waste ; 
Monticello is little better, and the same circumstances which have de- 
solated the lands of Washington and Jefferson have impoverished every 
planter in the State. Hardly any have escaped, save the owners of the 
rich bottom lands along James River, the fertility of which it seems 
difficult utterly to destroy/* Now a Virginia planter stands in much 
the same relation to his plantation as an absentee Irish landlord to his 
estate ; the care of the land is in each case handed over to a middle- 
man, who is anxious to screw out of it as large a return of produce or 
rent as possible ; and pecuniary embarrassment is in both cases the 
result. But as long as every pound of cotton grown on the Missis- 
sippi and the Red River finds eager customers in Liverpool, the price 
of slaves in those districts cannot fail to keep up. In many cases the 
planter of the Northern slave States emigrates to a region where he 
can employ his capital of thews and sinews more profitably than at 
home. In many others, he turns his plantation into an establishment 
for slave breeding, and sells his rising stock for labour in the cotton- 
field." — Prospective Review Nov. 1852. 

Unhappily, however, for this reasoning precisely the same ex- 
haustion is visible in the Northern States, as the reader may see 
by a perusal of the statements on this subject given by Professor 
Johnson, in his " Notes on North America/ 7 of which the follow- 
ing is a specimen : — 

" Exhaustion has diminished the produce of the land, formerly the 
great staple of the country. When the wheat fell off, barley, which 
at first yielded fifty or sixty bushels, was raised year after year, till 
the land fell away from this, and became full of weeds/' — Vol. i. 259. 

* Despotism in America, 127. 


Rotation of crops cannot take place at a distance from market. 
The exhaustive character of the system is well shown in the fol- 
lowing extract : — 

" In the State of -New York there are some twelve million acres of 
improved land, which includes all meadows and enclosed pastures. 
This area employs about five hundred thousand labourers, being an 
average of twenty-four acres to the hand. At this ratio, the number 
of acres of improved land in the United States is one hundred and 
twenty millions. But New York is an old and more densely popu- 
lated State than an average in the Union ; and probably twenty-five 
acres per head is ajuster estimate for the whole country. At this 
rate, the aggregate is one hundred and twenty-five millions. Of these 
improved lands, it is confidently believed that at least four-fifths are 
now suffering deterioration in a greater or less degree. 

" The fertility of some, particularly in the planting States, is pass- 
ing rapidly away ; in others, the progress of exhaustion is so slow as 
hardly to be observed by the cultivators themselves. To keep within 
the truth, the annual income from the soil may be said to be diminished 
ten cents an acre on one hundred million acres, or four-fifths of the 

" This loss of income is ten millions of dollars, and equal to sinking 
a capital of one hundred and sixty-six million six hundred and sixty- 
six thousand dollars a year, paying six per cent, annual interest. 
That improved farming lands may justly be regarded as capital, and 
a fair investment when paying six per cent, interest, and perfectly safe, 
no one will deny. This deterioration is not unavoidable, for thousands 
of skilful farmers have taken fields, poor in point of natural produc- 
tiveness, and, instead of diminishing their fertility, have added ten 
cents an acre to their annual income, over and above all expenses. If 
this wise and improving system of rotation tillage and husbandry 
were universally adopted, or applied to the one hundred million acres 
now being exhausted, it would be equivalent to creating each year an 
additional capital of one hundred and sixty-six millions six hundred 
and sixty-six thousand dollars, and placing it in permanent real estate, 
where it would pay six per cent, annual interest. For all practical 
purposes, the difference between the two systems is three hundred and 
thirty-three millions three hundred and thirty-three thousand dollars a 
year to the country. 

" Eight million acres [in the State of New York] are in the hands of 
three hundred thousand persons, who still adhere to the colonial prac- 
tice of extracting from the virgin soil all it will yield, so long as it will 
pay expenses to crop it, and then leave it in a thin, poor pasture for a 
term of years. Some of these impoverished farms, which seventy-five 
years ago produced from twenty to thirty bushels of wheat, on an ave- 
rage, per acre, now yield only from five to eight bushels. In an exceed- 
ingly interesting work entitled * American Husbandry/ published in 
London in 1775, and written by an American, the following remarks 
may be found on page 98, vol. i, : — ' Wheat, in many parts of the pro- 
vince, (New York,) yields a larger produce than is common in Eng- 


land. Upon good lands about Albany, where the climate is the coldest 
in the country, they sow two bushels and better upon an acre, and reap 
from twenty to forty ; the latter quantity, however, is not often had, but 
from twenty to thirty are common; and with such bad husbandry as 
would not yield the like in England, and much less in Scotland. This 
is owing to the richness and freshness of the land/ 

"According to the State census of 1845, Albany county now produces 
only seven and a half bushels of wheat per acre, although its farmers 
are on tide water and near the capital of the State, with a good home 
market, and possess every facility for procuring the most valuable fer- 
tilizers. Dutchess county, also on the Hudson Eiver, produces an 
average of only five bushels per acre ; Columbia, six bushels ; Rens- 
selaer, eight ; Westchester, seven ; which is higher than the average 
of soils that once gave a return larger than the wheat lands of England 
even with ' bad husbandry/ 

" Fully to renovate the eight million acres of partially exhausted 
lands in the State of Xew York, will cost at least an average of twelve 
dollars and a half per acre, or an aggregate of one hundred millions 
of dollars. It is not an easy task to replace all the bone-earth, potash, 
sulphur, magnesia, and organized nitrogen in mould consumed in a 
field which has been unwisely cultivated fifty or seventy-five years. 
Phosphorus is not an abundant mineral anywhere, and his sub-soil is 
about the only resource of the husbandman after his surface-soil has 
lost most of its phosphates. The three hundred thousand persons that 
cultivate these eight million acres of impoverished soils annually pro- 
duce less by twenty-five dollars each than they would if the land had 
not been injured. 

" The aggregate of this loss to the State and the world is seven mil- 
lion five hundred thousand dollars per annum, or more than seven per 
cent, interest on what it would cost to renovate the deteriorated soils. 
There is no possible escape from this oppressive tax on labour of seven 
million five hundred thousand dollars, but to improve the land, or run 
off and leave it." — Patent Office Report, 1849 

It is not slavery that produces exhaustion of the soil, but ex- 
haustion of the soil that causes slavery to continue. The people 
of England rose from slavery to freedom as the land was improved 
and rendered productive, and as larger numbers of men were en- 
abled to obtain subsistence from the same surface ; and it was pre- 
cisely as the land thus acquired value that they became free. 
Such, too, has been the case with every people that has been 
enabled to return to the land the manure yielded by its products, 
because of their having a market at home. On the contrary, there 
is no country in the world, in which men have been deprived of the 
power to improve their land, in which slavery has not been main- 
tained, to be aggravated in intensity as the land became more and 


more exhausted, as we see to have been the case in the West Indies. 
It is to this perpetual separation from each other that is due the 
poverty and weakness of the South. At the close of the Revolu- 
tion, the now slave States contained probably 1,600,000 people, 
and those States contained about 120,000,000 of acres, giving an 
average of about eighty acres to each. In 1850, the population 
had grown to 8,500,000, scattered over more than 300,000,000 of 
acres, giving about forty acres to each. The consequence of this 
dispersion is that the productive power is very small, as is here 
seen in an estimate for 1850, taken from a Southern journal of 
high reputation : — * 

Cotton 105,600,000 

Tobacco 15,000,000 

Rice 3,000,000 

Naval stores 2,000,000 

Sugar 12,396,150 

Hemp 695,840 138,691,990 

If we now add for food an equal amount, and this is 

certainly much in excess of the truth 138,691,990 

And for all other products 22,616,020 

We obtain 8300,000,000 

as the total production of eight millions and a half of people, or 
about §35 per head. The total production of the Union in 1850 
cannot have been short of 2500 millions ; and if we deduct from 
that sum the above quantity, we shall have remaining 2150 
millions as the product of fourteen millions and a half of Northern 
people, or more than four times as much per head. The difference 
is caused by the fact that at the North artisans have placed them- 
selves near to the farmer, and towns and cities have grown up, 
and exchanges are made more readily, and the farmer is not to the 
same extent obliged to exhaust his land, and dispersion therefore 
goes on more slowly ; and there is, in many of the States, an ex- 
tensive demand for those commodities of which the earth yields 
largely, such as potatoes, cabbages, turnips, &c. &c. With each 

* De Bow's Commercial Review, new series, vol. ii. 137. 


step in the process of coming together at the North, men tend to 
become more free ; whereas the dispersion of the South produces 
everywhere the trade in slaves of which the world complains, and 
which would soon cease to exist if the artisan could be brought to 
take his place by the side of the producer of food and cotton. Why 
he cannot do so may be found in the words of a recent speech of 
Mr. Cardwell, member of Parliament from Liverpool, congratulat- 
ing the people of England on the fact that free trade had so greatly 
damaged the cotton manufacture of this country, that the domestic 
consumption was decliniug from year to year. In this is to be 
found the secret of the domestic slave trade of the South, and its 
weakness, now so manifest. The artisan has been everywhere the 
ally of the farmer, and the South has been unable to form that 
alliance, the consequences of which are seen in the fact that it is 
always exporting men and raw materials, and exhausting its soil 
and itself : and the greater the tendency to exhaustion, the greater 
is the pro-slavery feeling. That such should l^e the case is most 
natural. The man who exhausts his land attaches to it but little 
value, and he abandons it, but he attaches much value to the 
slave whom he can carry away with him. The pro-slavery feeling 
made its appearance first in the period between 1830 and 1840. 
Up to 1832, there had existed a great tendency in Maryland, Vir- 
ginia, and Kentucky toward freedom, but that disappeared ; and 
the reason why it did so may be seen in the greatly increased tend- 
ency to the abandonment of the older tobacco and cotton growing 
States, as here shown : — 

Total population : is20. 1830.' 1840. 1S50. 

Virginia 1,065,379 1,211,405 1,239,797 1,424,863 

South Carolina 502,741 581,185 594,398 668,247 

Ratio of increase : 

Virginia 136 23 15-2 

South Carolina 15-6 2-3 12-4 

With the increase in the export of slaves to the South, the negro 
population declined in its ratio of increase, whereas it has grown 


with the growth of the power of the slave to remain at home, as is 
here shown : — 

1S20. 1S30. 1840. 1850. 

Total black population 1,779,885 2,328,642 2,873,703 3,591,000 
Ratio of increase 30 30 8 21 25 

We see thus that the more the black population can remain at 
home, the more rapidly they increase ; and the reason why such 
is the case is, that at home they are among their own people, by 
whom they have been known from infancy, and are of course bet- 
ter fed and clothed, more tenderly treated, and more lightly worked, 
with far greater tendency toward freedom. It would thence appear 
that if we desire to bring about the freedom of the negro, we must 
endeavour to arrest the domestic slave trade, and enable the slave 
and his master to remain at home; and to do this we must look to 
the causes of the difference in the extent of the trade in the periods 
above referred to. Doing this, we shall find that from 1820 to 
1830 there was a decided tendency toward bringing the artisan to 
the side of the ploughman; whereas from 1833 to 1840 the tendency 
was very strong in the opposite direction, and so continued until 
1842, at which time a change took place and continued until near 
the close of the decennial period, when our present revenue system 
came fully into operation. The artisan has now ceased to come to 
the side of the planter. Throughout the country cotton and woollen 
mills and furnaces and foundries have been closed, and women and 
children who were engaged in performing the lighter labour of con- 
verting cotton into cloth are now being sold for the heavier labour 
of the cotton-field, as is shown by the following advertisement, 
now but a few weeks old : — 

Sale of Negroes. — The negroes belonging to the Saluda Manu- 
facturing Company were sold yesterday for one-fourth cash, the ba- 
lance in one and two years, with interest, and averaged $599. Boys 
from 16 to 25 brought S900 to $1000.— Columbia {S. C.) Banner, 
Dec. 31, 1852. 

As a necessary consequence of this, the domestic slave trade is 
now largely increasing, as is shown by the following extract from 
a recent journal : — 


" The emigration to the southern portion of Arkansas, Louisiana, 
and Texas, during the past fall, has boon unusually large, and the tide 
which flows dailv through our streets indicates that the volume al rites 
but little, if any. On the opposite bank of the river arc encamped 
nearly fifty wagons, with probably not less than two hundred and 
fifty souls. Each night, for a fortnight, there have been, on an ave- 
rage, not less than twenty-five wagons encamped there ; and notwith- 
standing two hand ferry-boats have been constantly plying between 
the shores, the hourly accession to the number makes the diminution 
scarcely perceptible/' — Little Eock (Ark.) Gazette, Bee. 3, 1852. 

Had the member for Liverpool been aware that a decline in the 
tendency toward bringing the cotton-mill to the cotton-field was 
accompanied by increased exhaustion of the land, increased im- 
poverishment, and increased inability to bring into action the rich 
soils of the older States, and that with each such step there arose 
an increased necessity for the expulsion of the people of those 
States, accompanied by an increased sacrifice of life resulting from 
the domestic slave trade, he would certainly have hesitated before 
congratulating Parliament on an occurrence so hostile to the pro- 
gress of freedom. 

That the export of negroes, with its accompanying violation of 
the rights of parents and children, and with its natural tendency 
toward a total forgetfulness of the sanctity of the marriage tie, has 
its origin in the exhaustion of the laud, there can be no doubt — 
and that that, in its turn, has its origin in the necessity for a de- 
pendence on distant markets, is quite as free from doubt. The 
man who must go to a distance with his products cannot raise 
potatoes, turnips, or hay. He must raise the less bulky articles, 
wheat or cotton, and he must take from his land all the elements 
of which wheat or cotton is composed, and then abandon it. In 
addition to this, he must stake all his chances of success in his 
year's cultivation on a single crop; and what are the effects of this 
is seen in the following paragraph in relation to the wheat cultiva- 
tion of Virginia in the last season : — 

"Xever did I know in this State such a destruction of the wheat 
crop. I have just returned from Albemarle, one of the best counties. 
The joint-worm, a new enemy of three year's known existence there, 
has injured every crop, and destroyed many in that and other coun- 
ties both sides and along the Blue Ridge. I saw many fields that 
would not yield more than seed, and not a few from which not one 



peck per acre could be calculated upon. I saw more than one field 
without a head. The most fortunate calculate upon a half crop only. 
Corn is backward on the lower James River, embracing my own 
farm. I have heard to-day from my manager that the caterpillar has 
made its appearance, and must in the late wheat do serious damage." 

That State is not permitted to do any thing but grow wheat and 
tobacco, both of which she must export, and the larger the export 
the smaller are the returns, under the system of " unlimited com- 
petition" for the sale of raw products, and limited competition for 
the purchase of manufactured ones, which it is the object of 
British policy to establish. Not only is Virginia limited in the 
application of her labour, but she is also greatly limited in the 
extent of her market, because of the unequal distribution of the 
proceeds of the sales of her products. The pound of tobacco for 
which the consumer pays 6s. (81.44,) yields him less than six cents, 
the whole difference being absorbed by the people who stand 
between him and the consumer, and who contribute nothing toward 
the production of his commodity.* Now, it is quite clear that if 
the consumer and he stood face to face with each other, he would 
receive all that was paid, and that while the one bought at lower 
prices, the other would sell at higher ones, and both would grow 
rich. The difficulty with him is that not only is his land ex- 
hausted, but he receives but a very small portion of the price paid 
for its products, and thus is he, like the labourer of Jamaica, ex- 
hausted by reason of the heavy taxation to which he is subjected 
for the support of foreign merchants and foreign governments. 
As a consequence of all this his land has little value, and he finds 
himself becoming poorer from year to year, and each year he has 
to sell a negro for the payment of the tax on his tobacco and 

* The tobacco grower "has the mortification of seeing his tobacco, bought from 
him at sixpence in bond, charged three shillings duty, and therefore costing the 
broker but 3*. 6d. and selling in the shops of London at ten, twelve, and sixteen 
shillings." (Urquhart's Turkey, 194.) The same writer informs his readers that 
the tobacco dealers were greatly alarmed when it was proposed that the duty 
should be reduced, because then everybody with £10 capital could set up a shop. 
The slave who works in the tobacco-field is among the largest taxpayers for the 
maintenance of foreign traders and foreign governments. 


his wheat to which he is thus subjected, until he has at length to 
go himself. If the reader desire to study the working of this sys- 
tem of taxation, he cannot do better than read the first chapter of 
" Uncle Tom's Cabin," containing the negotiation between Haley 
and Mr. Shelby for the transfer of Uncle Tom, resulting in the 
loss of his life in the wilds of Arkansas. 

The more the necessity for exhausting land and for selling 
negroes, the cheaper, however, will be wheat and cotton. Uncle 
Tom might have remained at home had the powers of the land been 
maintained and had Virginia been enabled to avail herself of her 
vast resources in coal, iron ore, water-power, &c.;.but as she could 
not do this, he had to go to Arkansas to raise cotton : and the larger 
the domestic slave trade, the greater must be the decline in the price 
of that great staple of the South. At no period was that trade so 
large as in that from 1830 to 1810, and the effects are seen in the 
following comparative prices of cotton : — 
Crops, 1831 and 1832, average 10*. 1841 and 1812, average 7. 

The export of negroes declined between 1842 and 1850, and the 
consequence is that cotton has since maintained its price. With 
the closing of Southern mills the slave trade is now again growing 
rapidly, and the consequences will be seen in a large decline in 
the price of that important product of Southern labour and land. 

The reader will now observe that it was in the period from 1830 
to 1840 that the tendency to emancipation disappeared — that it 
was in that period were passed various laws adverse to the educa- 
tion of negroes — that it was in that period there was the greatest 
enlargement of the domestic slave trade — and the greatest decline 
in the price of cotton. Having remarked these things, and having 
satisfied himself that they, each and all, have their origin in the 
fact that the planter is compelled to depend on foreign markets 
and therefore to exhaust his land, he will be enabled to judge of 
the accuracy of the view contained in the following sentence : — 

" The price of a negro on Red River varies with the price of cotton 
in Liverpool, and whatever tends to lower the value of the staple here, 
not only confers an inestimable advantage on our own manufactur- 
ing population, but renders slave labour less profitable, and therefore 
less permanent in Alabama." — Prospective JReciew, No. xxxii. 512. 


It would be fortunate if philanthropy and pecuniary profit 
could thus be made to work together, but such unhappily is not 
the case. When men are enabled to come nearer to each other and 
combine their efforts, and towns arise, land acquires great value and 
gradually becomes divided, and with each step in this direction the 
negro loses his importance in the eye of his owner. When, how- 
ever, men are forced to abandon the land they have exhausted, it 
becomes consolidated, and the moveable chattel acquires import- 
ance in the eyes of his emigrant owner. At death, the land cannot, 
under these circumstances, be divided, and therefore the negroes 
must; and hence it is that such advertisements as the following 
are a necessary consequence of the system that looks to cheap 
wheat, cheap sugar, and cheap cotton. 

High Price of Negroes. — We extract the following from the Lan- 
caster (S. C.) Ledger of the 5th January last: — 

We attended the sale of negroes belonging to the estate of the late 
S. Beekman, on the 22d of last month, and were somewhat astonished 
at the high price paid for negroes. 

Negro men brought from 8800 to $1000, the greater number at or 
near the latter price. One (a blacksmith) brought 81425. 

We learn from the Winsboro' Register, that on Monday, the 3d inst., 
a large sale of negroes was made by the Commissioner in Equity for 
Fairfield district, principally the property of James Gibson, deceased. 
The negroes were only tolerably likely, and averaged about $620 each. 
The sales were made on a credit of twelve months. — Charleston (S. C.) 

The more the planter is forced to depend upon tobacco the lower 
will be its price abroad, and the more he must exhaust his land. 
The more rapid the exhaustion the more must be the tendency to 
emigrate. The more the necessity for depending exclusively on 
wheat, the greater the necessity for making a market for it by 
raising slaves for sale j and in several of the older Southern States 
the planter now makes nothing but what results from the increase 
of " stock." 

Of all the exporters of food England is the largest, said a distin- 
guished English merchant, in a speech delivered some years since. 
In some parts of that country it is manufactured into iron, and 
in others into cloth, in order that it may travel cheaply, and this 
is quite in accordance with the advice of Adam Smith. With 


a view, however, to prevent other nations from following in the 
eourse so strongly urged upon them by that great man, labour has 
been cheapened, and men and women, boys and girls, have been 
accustomed to work together in the same mine, and often in a 
state of entire nudity; while other women and children have been 
compelled to work for fourteen or sixteen hours a day for six days 
in the week, and for small wages, in the mill or workshop — and 
this has been done in accordance with the advice of Mr. Huskisson, 
who, from his place in Parliament, told his countrymen that in 
order " to give capital a fair remuneration, labour must be kejjt 
rloicn" — that is, the labourer must be deprived of the power to 
determine for himself for whom he would work, or what should be 
his reward. It was needed, as was then declared by another of the 
most eminent statesmen of Britain, "that the manufactures of all 
other nations should be strangled in their infancy/' and such has 
from that day to the present been the object of British policy. 
Hence it is that England is now so great an exporter of food 
manufactured into cloth and iron. The people of Massachusetts 
manufacture their grain into fish, cloth, and various other commo- 
dities, with a view to enable it cheaply to travel to market. Those 
of Illinois, unable to convert their corn into coal or iron, find them- 
selves obliged to manufacture it into pork. The Virginian would 
manufacture his corn and his wheat into cloth, or into coal and 
iron, if he could, but this he cannot do, although close to the pro- 
ducer of cotton, and occupying a land abounding in all the raw 
materials of which machinery is composed; and having, too, abund- 
ant labour power that runs to waste. Why he cannot do it is that 
England follows the advice of Mr. Huskisson, and cheapens labour 
with a view to prevent other nations from following the advice of 
Adam Smith. The whole energies of the State are therefore 
given to the raising of tobacco and corn, both of which must go 
abroad, and as the latter cannot travel profitably in its rude state, it 
requires to be manufactured, and the only branch of manufacture 
permitted to the Virginian is that of negroes, and hence it is that 
their export is so large, and that cotton is so cheap. 

Widely different would be the course of things could he be per- 



mitted to employ a reasonable portion of his people in the develop- 
ment of the vast resources of the State — opening mines, erecting 
furnaces, smelting iron, making machinery, and building mills. 
Fewer persons would then raise corn and more would be employed 
in consuming it, and the price at home would then rise to a level 
with that in the distant market, and thus would the land acquire 
value while the cost of raising negroes would be increased. Towns 
would then grow up, and exchanges would be made on the spot, 
and thus would the planter be enabled to manure his land. Labour 
would become more productive, and there would be more commodi- 
ties to be given in exchange for labour ; and the more rapid the 
increase in the amount of production the greater would be the 
tendency toward enabling the labourer to determine for whom he 
would work and what should be his reward. Population would 
then rapidly increase, and land would become divided, and the little 
black cultivator of cabbages and potatoes would be seen taking the 
place of the poor white owner of large bodies of exhausted land, and 
thus would the negro tend toward freedom as his master became 
enriched. Nothing of this kind is, however, likely to take place 
so long as the Virginian shall continue of the opinion that the way 
to wealth lies in the direction of taking every thing from the land 
and returning nothing to it — nor, perhaps, so long as the people 
of England shall continue in the determination that there shall be 
but one workshop in the world, and carry that determination into 
effect by " keeping labour down/ 7 in accordance with the advice of 
Mr. Huskisson. 

The tendency to the abandonment of the older States is now proba- 
bly greater than it has ever been, because their people have ceased 
to build mills or furnaces, and every thing looks to a yet more per- 
fect exhaustion of the soil. The more they abandon the land the 
greater is the anxiety to make loans in England for the purpose of 
building roads; and the more numerous the loans the more rapid is 
the flight, and the greater the number of negroes brought to market. 

A North Carolina paper informs its readers that — 

" The trading spirit is fully up. A few days since Mr. D. "W. Bul- 
lock sold to Messrs. AVm. Norfleet, Robert Norfleet, and John S. Dancy, 


plantation and 18 negroes for $30,000. Mr. R. R. Bridges to Wm. F. 

Bancy, 6 acres near town for $600. At a sale in Wilson, we also 
understand, negro men with no extra qualifications sold as high as 
$1225." — Tarborough Southerner. 

A South Carolina editor informs his readers that 

" At public auction on Thursday, Thomas Ryan & Son sold fifteen 
likely negroes for $10,305, or an average of $691. Three boys, aged 
about seventeen, brought the following sums, viz. $1065, $1035, 
$1,010, and two at $1000— making an average of $1022. Capers 
Heyward sold a gang of 109 negroes in families. Two or three 
families averaged from $1000 to $1100 for each individual ; and the 
entire sale averaged $550. C. G. Whitney sold two likely female 
house servants — one at $1000, the other at $1190." — Charleston 

Limited, as the people of the old States are more and more be- 
coming, to the raising of "stock" as the sole source of profit, need 
we be surprised to see the pro-slavery feeling gaining ground from 
day to day, as is here shown to be the case ? 

Removal of Free Persons or Colour from Virginia. — A bill has 
been reported in the Virginia House of Delegates, which provides for 
the appointment of overseers, who are to be required to hire out, at 
public auction, all free persons of colour, to the highest bidder, and to 
pay into the State Treasury the sums accruing from such hire. The 
sums are to be devoted in future to sending free persons of colour 
beyond the limits of the State. At the expiration of five years, all free 
persons of colour remaining in the State are to be |pld into slavery to 
the highest bidder, at public auction, the proceeds of such sales to be 
paid into the public treasury, provided that said free persons of colour 
shall be allowed the privilege of becoming the slaves of any free white 
person whom they may select, on the payment by such person of a 
fair price. 

Twenty years since, Virginia was preparing for the emancipation 
of the slave. Now, she is preparing for the enslavement of the 
free. If the reader would know the cause of this great change, he 
may find it in the fact that man has everywhere become less free 
as land has become less valuable. 

Upon whom, now, must rest the responsibility for such a state 
of things as is here exhibited ? Upon the planter ? He exercises 
no volition. He is surrounded by coal and iron ore, but the 
attempt to convert them into iron has almost invariably been fol- 
lowed by ruin. He has vast powers of nature ready to obey his 
will, yet dare he not purchase a spindle or a loom to enable him to 


bring into use his now waste labour power, for such attempts at 
bringing the consumer to the side of the producer have almost in- 
variably ended in the impoverishment of the projector, and the sale 
and dispersion of his labourers. .He is compelled to conform his 
operations to the policy which looks to having but one workshop 
for the world; and instead of civilizing his negroes by bringing 
them to work in combination, he must barbarize them by dispersion. 
A creature of necessity, he cannot be held responsible ; but the 
responsibility must, and will, rest on those who produce that 

The less the power of association in the Northern slave States, the 
more rapid must be the growth of the domestic slave trade, the 
greater must be the decline in the price of wheat, cotton, and sugar, 
the greater must be the tendency to the passage of men like Uncle 
Tom, and of women and children too, from the light labour of the 
North to the severe labour of the South and South-west — but, the 
greater, as we are told, must be the prosperity of the people of 
England. It is unfortunate for the world that a country exercising 
so much influence should have adopted a policy so adverse to the 
civilization and the freedom not only of the negro race, but of man- 
kind at large. Tl^ere seems, however, little probability of a change. 
Seeking to make of herself a great workshop, she necessarily desires 
that all the rest of the world should be one great farm, to be culti- 
vated by men, women, and children, denied all other means of em- 
ployment. This, of course, forbids association, which diminishes 
as land becomes exhausted. The absence of association forbids the 
existence of schools or workshops, books or instruction, and men 
become barbarized, when, under a different system, they might and 
would become civilized. The tendency to freedom passes away, as 
we see to have been the case in the last twenty years — but in place 
of freedom, and as a compensation for the horrors of Jamaica and 
of the domestic slave trade, the great workshop of the world is sup- 
plied with cheap grain, cheap tobacco, cheap sugar, and cheap 

"Were Adam Smith alive, he might, and probably would, take 
some trouble to inform his countrymen that a system which looked 


to the exhaustion of the land of other countries, and the enslave- 
ment of their population, was " a manifest violation of the most 
sacred rights of mankind ;" but since his clay the doctrines of the 
" Wealth of Nations" have been discarded, and its author would find 
himself now addressing hearers more unwilling than were even the 
men for whom he wrote eighty years since. At that time the imagi- 
nary discovery had not been made that men always commenced on the 
rich soils, and passed, as population and wealth increased, to poorer 
ones; and the Malthusian law of population was yet unthought 
of. Xow, however, whatever tends to limit the growth of popula- 
tion is, we are told, to be regarded as a great good; and as the do- 
mestic slave trade accomplishes that object at the same time that it 
furnishes cheap cotton, it can scarcely be expected that there will 
be any change ; and yet, unless a change be somewhere made, abroad 
or at home, we must perforce submit to the continuance of the 
existing system, which precludes education, almost eschews matri- 
mony, separates husbands and wives, parents and children, and 
sends the women to the labours of the field. 



In point of natural advantages, Portugal is equal with any 
country in Western Europe. Her soil is capable of yielding 
largely of every description of grain, and her climate enables her 
to cultivate the vine and the olive. Mineral riches abound, and 
her rivers give to a large portion of the country every facility for 
cheap intercourse; and yet her people are among the most enslaved, 
while her government is the weakest and most contemptible of 

It is now a century and a half since England granted her what 
were deemed highly important advantages in regard to wine, 


on condition that she should discard the artisans who had been 
"brought to the side of her farmers, and permit the people of Eng- 
land to supply her people with certain descriptions of manufactures. 
What were the duties then agreed on are not given in any of the 
books now at hand, but by the provisions of a treaty made in 
1810, cloths of all descriptions were to be admitted at a merely 
revenue duty, varying from ten to fifteen per cent. A natural con- 
sequence of this system has been that the manufactures which up to 
the date of the Methuen treaty had risen in that country, perished 
under foreign competition, and the people found themselves by 
degrees limited exclusively to agricultural employments. Mechanics 
found there no place for the exercise of their talents, towns could 
not grow, schools could not arise ; and the result is seen in the fol- 
lowing paragraph : — 

"It is surprising how ignorant, or at least superficially acquainted, 
the Portuguese are with every kind of handicraft ; a carpenter is awk- 
ward and clumsy, spoiling every work he attempts, and the way in 
which the doors and woodwork even of good houses are finished would 
have suited the rudest ages. Their carriages of all kinds, from the 
fidalgo's family coach to the peasant's market cart, their agricultural 
implements, locks and keys, &c. are ludicrously bad. They seem to 
disdain improvement, and are so infinitely below par, so strikingly 
inferior to the rest of Europe, as to form a sort of disgraceful wonder 
in the middle of the nineteenth century." — Baillie. 

The population, which, half a century since was 3,683,000, is 
now reduced to little more than 3,000,000; and we need no better 
evidence of the enslaving and exhausting tendency of a policy that 
limits a whole people, men, women, and children, to the labours of 
the field. At the close almost of a century and a half of this sys- 
tem, the following is given in a work of high reputation, as a cor- 
rect picture of the state of the country and the strength of the 
government : — 

"The finances of Portugal are in the most deplorable condition, the 
treasury is dry, and all branches of the public service suffer. A care- 
lessness and a mutual apathy reign not only throughout the govern- 
ment, but also throughout the nation. While improvement is sought 
everywhere else throughout Europe, Portugal remains stationary. 
The postal service of the country offers a curious example of this, 
nineteen to twenty-one days being still required for a letter to go and 
come between Lisbon and Braganza, a distance of 423J kilometres, 


(or little over 300 miles.) All the resources of the state are exhausted, 
ami it is probable that the receipts will not give one-third of the amount 
for which thev figure in the budget." — Annudire de V Economie Poli- 
tique, 1849, 322. 

Some years since an effort was made to bring the artisan to the 
side of the former and vine-grower, but a century and a half of ex- 
clusive' devotion to agriculture had placed the people so far in the 
rear of those of other nations, that the attempt was hopeless, the 
country having long since become a mere colony of Great Britain. 

If we turn to Madeira, we find there further evidence of the ex- 
hausting consequences of the separation of the farmer and the arti- 
san. From 1836 to 1842, the only period for which returns are 
before me, there was a steady decline in the amount of agricultural 
production, until the diminution had reached about thirty per cent., 
as follows : — 

Wiue. Wheat Barley. 

1836 27,270 pipes. 8472 qrs. 3510 

1842 16,131 " 6863 " 2777 

At this moment the public papers furnish an " Appeal to Ame- 
rica," commencing as follows : — 

"A calamity has fallen on Madeira unparalleled in its history. The 
vintage, the revenue of which furnished the chief means for providing 
subsistence for its inhabitants, has been a total failure, and the potato 
crop, formerly another important article of their food, is still exten- 
sively diseased. All classes, therefore, are suffering, and as there are 
few sources in the island to which they can look for food, clothing, 
and other necessaries of life, their distress must increase during the 
winter, and the future is contemplated with painful anxiety and appre- 
hension. Under such appalling prospects, the zealous and excellent 
civil Governor, Snr. Jose Silvestre Ribeiro, addressed a circular letter 
to the merchants of Madeira on the 24th of August last, for the purpose 
of bringing the unfortunate and critical position of the population 
under his government to the notice of the benevolent and charitable 
classes in foreign countries, and in the hope of exciting their sympathy 
with, and assistance to, so many of their fellow-creatures threatened 
with famine." 

Such are the necessary consequences of a system which looks 
to compelling the whole population of a country to employ them- 
selves in a single pursuit — all cultivating the land and all producing 
the same commodity; and which thus effectually prevents the 
growth of that natural association so much admired by Adam 


Smith. It is one that can end only in the exhaustion of the land and 
its owner. When population increases and men come together, even 
the poor land is made rich, and thus it is, says M; de Jonnes, that 
" the power of manure causes the poor lands of the department of 
the Seine to yield thrice as much as those of the Loire."* When 
population diminishes, and men are thus forced to live at greater dis- 
tances from each other, even the rich lands become impoverished ; 
and of this no better evidence need be sought than that furnished 
by Portugal. In the one case, each day brings men nearer to 
perfect freedom of thought, speech, action, and trade. In the 
other they become from day to day more barbarized and enslaved, 
and the women are more and more driven to the field, there to 
become the slaves of fathers, husbands, brothers, and even of sons. 

Of all the countries of Europe there is none possessed of natural 
advantages to enable it to compare with those constituting the 
Turkish Empire in Europe and Asia. Wool and silk, corn, oil, 
and tobacco, might, with proper cultivation, be produced in almost 
unlimited quantity, while Thessaly and Macedonia, long celebrated 
for the production of cotton, abound in lands uncultivated, from 
which it might be obtained in sufficient extent to clothe a large portion 
of Europe. Iron ore abounds, and in quality equal to any in the 
world, while in another part of the empire " the hills seem a mass 
of carbonate of copper. "f Nature has done every thing for the 
people of that country, and yet of all those of Europe, the Turkish 
rayah approaches in condition nearest to a slave; and of all the go- 
vernments of Europe, that of Portugal even not excepted, that of 
Turkey is the most a slave to the dictation, not only of nations, but 
even of bankers and traders. Why it is so, we may now inquire, 

By the terms of the treaty with England in 1675, the Turkish 
government bound itself to charge no more than three per cent, 
duty on imports, J and as this could contribute little to the revenue, 

* Statistiqae de l'Agriculture de la France, 129. 
f Urquhart's Resources of Turkey, 179. 

J Equivalent to light port-charges, the anchorage being only sixteen cents per 


that required to be sought elsewhere. A poll-tax, house-tax, land- 
tax, and many other direct taxes, furnished a part of it, and the 
balance was obtained by an indirect tax in the form of export duties; 
and as the corn, tobacco, and cotton of its people were obliged to 
compete in the general markets of the world with the produce of 
other lands, it is clear that these duties constituted a further con- 
tribution from the cultivators of the empire in aid of the various 
direct taxes that have been mentioned. So far as foreigners were 
interested, the system was one of perfect free trade and direct 

For many years, Turkey manufactured much of her cotton, and 
she exported cotton-yarn. Such was the case so recently as 1798, 
as will be seen by the following very interesting account of one of 
the seats of the manufacture : — 

"'Ambelakia, by its activity, appears rather a borough of Holland 
than a village of Turkey. This village spreads, by its industry, move- 
ment, and life, over the surrounding country, and gives birth to an 
immense commerce which unites Germany to Greece by a thousand 
threads. Its population has trebled in fifteen years, and amounts at 
present (1798) to four thousand, who live in their manufactories like 
swarms of bees in their hives. In this village are unknown both the 
vices and cares engendered by idleness ; the hearts of the Ambelakiots 
are pure and their faces serene ; the slavery which blasts the plains 
watered by the Peneus, and stretching at their feet, has never ascended 
the sides of Pelion (Ossa;) and they govern themselves, like their 
ancestors, by their protoyeros, (primates, elders,) and their own magis- 
trates. Twice the Mussulmen of Larissa attempted to scale their 
rocks, and twice were they repulsed by hands which dropped the 
shuttle to seize the musket. 

'"Every arm, even those of the children, is employed in the facto- 
ries ; while the men dye the cotton, the women prepare and spin it. 
There are twenty-four factories, in which yearly two thousand five 
hundred bales of cotton yarn, of one hundred cotton okes each, were 
dyed (6138 cwts.) This yarn found its way into Germany, and was 
disposed of at Buda, Yienna, Leipsic, Dresden, Anspach, and Bareuth. 
The Ambelakiot merchants had houses of their own in all these places. 
These houses belonged to distinct associations at Ambelakia. The 
competition thus established reduced very considerably the common 
profits ; they proposed therefore to unite themselves under one central 
commercial administration. Twenty years ago this plan was sug- 
gested, and in a year afterward it was carried into execution. The 
lowest shares in this joint-stock company were five thousand piastres, 
(between £600 and £700,) and the highest were restricted to twenty 
thousand, that the capitalists might not swallow up all the profits. 



The workmen subscribed their little profits, and uniting in societies, 
purchased single shares ; and besides their capital, their labour was 
reckoned in the general amount ; they received their share of the 
profits accordingly, and abundance was soon spread through the whole 
community. The dividends were at first restricted to ten per cent, 
and the surplus profit was applied to the augmenting of the capital ; 
which in two years was raised from 600,000 to 1,000,000 piastres, 

" It supplied industrious Germany, not by the perfection of its jen- 
nies, but by the industry of its spindle and distaff. It taught Mont- 
pellier the art of dyeing, not from experimental chairs, but because 
dyeing was with it a domestic and culinary operation, subject to daily 
observation in every kitchen ; and by the simplicity and honesty, not 
the science of its system, it reads a lesson to commercial associations, 
and holds up an example unparalleled in the commercial history of 
Europe, of a joint-stock and labour company, ably and economically 
and successfully administered, in which the interests of industry and 
capital were long equally represented. Yet the system of administra- 
tion with which all this is connected, is common to the thousand 
hamlets of Thessaly that have not emerged from their insignificance ; 
but Ambelakia for twenty years was left alone."* 

At that time, however, England had invented new machinery 
for spinning cotton, and, by prohibiting its export, had provided 
that all the cotton of the world should be brought to Manchester 
before it could be cheaply converted into cloth. 

The cotton manufacturers at Ambelakia had their difficulties to 
encounter, but all those might have been overcome had they not, 
says Mr. Urquhart, "been outstripped by Manchester." They icere 
outstripped, and twenty years afterward, not only had that place 
been deserted, but others in its neighbourhood were reduced to 
complete desolation. Native manufactories for the production of 
cotton goods had, indeed, almost ceased to work. Of 600 looms 
at Scutari in' 1812, but 40 remained in 1821; and of the 2000 
weaving establishments at Tournovo in 1812, but 200 remained in 
1830. f For a time, cotton went abroad to be returned in the form 
of twist, thus making a voyage of thousands of miles in search of 
a spindle ; but even this trade has in a great degree passed away. 
As a consequence of these things there had been a ruinous fall of 
wages, affecting all classes of labourers. " The profits," says Mr. 
Urquhart — 

* Beaujour's Tableau clu Commerce cle la Greece, quoted by Urqubart, 47. 
j Urquhart, 150. 


"Have been reduced to one-half, and sometimes to one-third, by the 
introduction of English cottons, which, though they have reduced the 
home price, and arrested the export of cotton-yarn from Turkey, have 
not yet supplanted the home manufacture in any visible degree ; for, 
until tranquillity has allowed agriculture to revive, the people must go 
on working merely for bread, and reducing their price, in a struggle 
of hopeless competition. The industry, however, of the women and 
children is most remarkable ; in every interval of labour, tending the 
cattle, carrying water, the spindle and distaff, as in the days of Xerxes, 
is never out of their hands. The children are as assiduously at work, 
from the moment their little fingers can turn the spindle. About 
Ambelakia, the former focus of the cotton-yarn trade, the peasantry 
has suffered dreadfully from this, though formerly the women could 
earn as much in-doors, as their husbands in the field ; at present, their 
daily profit (1831) does not exceed twenty paras, if realized, for often 
they cannot dispose of the yarn when spun. 

Piastres. Paras. 

Five okes of uncleaned cotton, at seventeen paras 2 5 

Labour of a woman for two days, (seven farthings per day) 35 

Carding, by vibrations of a cat-gut 10 

Spinning, a woman's unremitting labour for a week 5 30 

Loss of cotton, exceeding an oke of uncleaned cotton 20 

Value of one oke of uncleaned cotton Prs. 9 00 

"Here a woman's labour makes but 2d. per day, while field-labour, 
according to the season of the year, ranges from Ad. to 6d. ; and at this 
rate, the pound of .coarse cotton-yarn cost in spinning 5d." — P. 147. 

The labour of a woman is estimated at less than four cents per 
day, and " the unremitting labour of a week" will command but 
twenty-five cents. The wages of men employed in gathering leaves 
and attending silkworms are stated at one piastre (five cents) per 
day. At Salonica, the shipping port of Thessaly, they were ten 
cents. (Urquhart, 268.) 

As a necessary consequence of this, population diminishes, and 
everywhere are seen the ruins of once prosperous villages. Agri- 
culture declines from day to day. The once productive cotton- 
fields of Thessaly lie un tilled, and even around Constantinople 
itself — 

" There are no cultivated lands to speak of within twenty miles, in 
some directions within fifty miles. The commonest necessaries of life 
come from distant parts : the corn for daily bread from Odessa ; the 
cattle and sheep from beyond Adrianople, or from Asia Minor ; the 
rice, of which such a vast consumption is made, from the neighbour- 
hood of Phillippopolis ; the poultry chiefly from Bulgaria ; the fruit 


and vegetables from Niconiedia and Mondania. Thus a constant drain 
of money is occasioned, -without any visible return except to the trea- 
sury or from the property of the Ulema." — Slade's Travels in Turkey, 
vol ii. 143. 

The silk that is made is badly prepared, because the distance of 
the artisan prevents the poor people from obtaining good ma- 
chinery ; and as a consequence of this, the former direct trade 
with Persia has been superseded by an indirect one through Eng- 
land, to which the raw silk has now to be sent. In every depart- 
ment of industry we see the same result. Birmingham has super- 
seded Damascus, whose blades are now no longer made. 

Not only is the foreigner free to introduce his wares, but he may, 
on payment of a trifling duty of two per cent., carry them through- 
out the empire until finally disposed of. He travels by caravans, 
and is lodged without expense. He brings his goods to be exchanged 
for money, or what else, he needs, and the exchange effected, he 
disappears as suddenly as he came. 

" It is impossible/' says Mr. Urquhart, " to witness the arrival of 
the many-tongued caravan at its resting-place for the night, and see, 
unladen and piled up together, the bales from such distant places — to 
glance over their very wrappers, and the strange marks and characters 
which they bear — without being amazed at so eloquent a contradiction 
of our preconceived notions of indiscriminate despotism and universal 
insecurity of the East. But -while we observe the avidity with -which 
our goods are sought, the preference now transferred from Indian to 
Birmingham muslins, from Golconda to Glasgow chintzes, from Da- 
mascus to Sheffield steel, from Cashmere shawls to English broad- 
cloth ; and while, at the same time, the energies of their commercial 
spirit are brought thus substantially before us ; it is indeed impossible 
not to regret that a gulf of separation should have so long divided the 
East and the West, and equally impossible not to indulge in the hope 
and anticipation of a vastly extended traffic with the East, and of all 
the blessings which follow fast and welling in the wake of commerce." 
—P. 133. 

Among the "blessings" of the system is the fact that local 
places of exchange no longer exist. The storekeeper who pays 
rent and taxes has found himself unable to compete with the ped- 
ler who pays neither; and the consequence is that the poor culti- 
vator finds it impossible to exchange his products, small as they 
are, for the commodities he needs, except on the occasional arrival 
of a caravan, and that has generally proved far more likely to ab- 


sorb the little money in circulation, than any of the more bulky 
and less valuable products of the earth. 

As usual in purely agricultural countries, the whole body of 
cultivators is hopelessly in debt, and the money-lender fleeces all. 
If he aids the peasant before harvest, he must have an enormous 
interest, and be paid in produce at a large discount from the 
market price. The village communities are almost universally in 
debt, but to them, as the security is good, the banker charges only 
twenty per cent, per annum. Turkey is the very paradise of mid- 
dlemen — a consequence of the absence of any mode of employment 
except in cultivation or in trade ; and the moral effect of this may 
be seen in the following passage : — 

" If you see," says Urquhart, " a Turk meditating in a corner, it is 
on some speculation — the purchase of a revenue farm, or the propriety 
of a loan at sixty per cent. ; if you see pen or paper in his hand, it is 
making or checking an account ; if there is a disturbance in the street, 
it is a disputed barter ; whether in the streets or in-doors, whether in 
a coffee-house, a serai, or a bazaar, whatever the rank, nation, language 
of the persons around you, traffic, barter, gain are the prevailing im- 
pulses ; grusch, para, florin, lira, asper, amid the Babel of tongues, are 
the universally intelligible sounds." — P. 138. 

We have thus a whole people divided into two classes — the 
plunderers and the plundered ; and the cause of this may be found 
in the fact that the owners and occupants of land have never been 
permitted to strengthen themselves by the formation of that natu- 
ral alliance between the plough and the loom, the hammer and 
the harrow, so much admired by Adam Smith. The government 
is as weak as the people, for it is so entirely dependent on the 
bankers, that they may be regarded as the real owners of the land 
and the people, taxing them at discretion ; and to them certainly 
enure all the profits of cultivation. As a consequence of this, the 
land is almost valueless. A recent traveller states that good land 
maybe purchased in the immediate vicinity of Smyrna at six cents 
an acre, and at a little distance vast quantities may be had for 
nothing. Throughout the world, the freedom of man has grown 
in the ratio of the increase in the value of land, and that has 
always grown in the ratio of the tendency to have the artisan take 
his place by the side of the cultivator of the earth. Whatever 



tends to prevent this natural association tends, therefore, to the 
debasement and enslavement of man. 

The weakness of Turkey,, as regards foreign nations, is great, 
and it increases every day.* Not only ambassadors, but consuls, 
beard it in its own cities j and it is now even denied that she has 
any right to adopt a system of trade different from that under 
which she has become thus weakened. Perfect freedom of com- 
merce is declared to be " one of those immunities which we can 
resign on no account or pretext whatever ; it is a golden privilege, 
which we can never abandon."f 

Internal trade scarcely exists ; and, as a natural consequence, 
the foreign one is insignificant, the whole value of the exports be- 
ing but about thirty-three millions of dollars, or less than two dol- 
lars per head. The total exports from Great Britain in the last 
year amounted to but £2,221,000, ($11,500,000,) much of which 
was simply en route for Persia ; and this constitutes the great trade 
that has been built up at so much cost to the people of Turkey, 
and that is to be maintained as "a golden privilege" not to be 
abandoned ! Not discouraged by the result of past efforts, the 
same author looks forward anxiously for the time when there shall 
be in Turkey no employment in manufactures of any kind, and 
when the people shall be exclusively employed in agriculture ; and 
that time cannot, he thinks, be far distant, as " a few pence more 
or less in the price of a commodity will make the difference of 
purchasing or manufacturing at home. "J 

Throughout his book he shows that the rudeness of the ma- 
chinery of cultivation is in the direct ratio of the distance of the 
cultivator from market ; and yet he would desire that all the pro- 
duce of the country should go to a distant market to be exchanged, 
although the whole import of iron at the present moment for the 
supply of a population of almost twenty millions of people, possess- 

* The recent proceedings in regard to the Turkish loan are strikingly illus- 
trative of the exhausting effects of a system that looks wholly to the export of 
the raw produce of the earth, and thus tends to the ruin of the soil and of its 

t Urquhart, 257. % Ibid. 202. 


ing iron ore, fuel, and unemployed labour in unlimited quantity, 
is but £2500 per annum, or about a penny's worth for every thirty 
persons ! Need we wonder at the character of the machinery, the 
poverty and slavery of the people, the trivial amount of commerce, 
or at the weakness of a government whose whole system looks to 
the exhaustion of the land, and to the exclusion of that great mid- 
dle class of working-men, to whom the agriculturist has everywhere 
been indebted for his freedom ? 

The facts thus far given have been taken, as the reader will 
have observed, from Mr. Urquhart's work ; and as that gentleman 
is a warm admirer of the system denounced by Adam Smith, he 
cannot be suspected of any exaggeration when presenting any of 
its unfavourable results. Later travellers exhibit the nation as 
passing steadily onward toward ruin, and the people toward a state 
of slavery the most complete — the necessary consequence of a po- 
licy that excludes the mechanic and prevents the formation of a 
town population. Among the latest of those travellers is Mr. Mac 
Farlane,* at the date of whose visit the silk manufacture had en- 
tirely disappeared, and even the filatures for preparing the raw silk 
were closed, weavers having become ploughmen, and women and 
children having been totally deprived of employment. The culti- 
vators of silk had become entirely dependent on foreign markets 
in which there existed no demand for the products of their land 
and labour. England was then passing through one of her periodi- 
cal crises, and it had been deemed necessary to put down the prices 
of all agricultural products, with a view to stop importation. On 
one occasion, during Mr. Mac Farlane's travels, there came a report 
that silk had risen in England, and it produced a momentary stir 
and animation, that, as he says, " flattered his national vanity to 
think that an electric touch parting from London, the mighty heart 
of commerce, should thus be felt in a few days at a place like Bil- 
jek." Such is commercial centralization ! It renders the agricul- 
turists of the world mere slaves, dependent for food and clothing 
upon the will of a few people, proprietors of a small amount of 

* Turkey, and its Destiny, by C. Mac Farlane, Esq., 1850. 


machinery, at " the mighty heart of commerce." At one moment 
speculation is rife, and silk goes up in price, and then every effort 
is made to induce large shipments of the raw produce of the world. 
At the next, money is said to be scarce, and the shippers are ruined, 
as was, to so great an extent, experienced by those who exported 
corn from this country in 1847. 

At the date of the traveller's first visit to Broussa, the villages 
were numerous, and the silk manufacture was prosperous. At the 
second, the silk works were stopped and their owners bankrupt, the 
villages were gradually disappearing, and in the town itself scarcely 
a chimney was left, while the country around presented to view no- 
thing but poverty and wretchedness. Everywhere, throughout the 
empire, the roads are bad, and becoming worse, and the condition 
of the cultivator deteriorates ; for if he has a surplus to sell, most 
of its value at market is absorbed by the cost of transportation, and 
if his crop is short, prices rise so high that he cannot purchase. 
Famines are therefore frequent, and child-murder prevails through- 
out all classes of society. Population therefore diminishes, and 
the best lands are abandoned, " nine-tenths" of them remaining 
untilled ;* the natural consequence of which is, that malaria pre- 
vails in many of those parts of the country that once were most 
productive, and pestilence comes in aid of famine for the 
extermination of this unfortunate people. Native mechanics are 
nowhere to be found, there being no demand for them, and the 
plough, the wine-press, and the oil- mill are equally rude and bar- 
barous. The product of labour is, consequently, most diminutive, 
and its wages twopence a day, with a little food. The interest of 
money varies from 25 to 50 per cent, per annum, and this rate is 
frequently paid for the loan of bad seed that yields but little to 
either land or labour. 

With the decline of population and the disappearance of all the 
local places of exchange, the pressure of the conscription becomes 
from year to year more severe, and droves of men may be seen 
" chained like wild beasts — free Osmanlees driven along the road 

* Mac Farlane, vol. i. 46. 


like slaves to a market" — free men, separated from wives and 
children, -who are left to perish of starvation amid the richest 
lands, that remain untilled because of the separation of the artisan 
from the producer of food, silk, and cotton. Internal commerce is 
trifling in amount, and the power to pay for foreign merchandise 
has almost passed away. Land is nearly valueless; and in this we 
find the most convincing proof of the daily increasing tendency 
toward slavery, man having always become enslaved as land has 
lost its value. In the great valley of Buyuk-dere, once known as 
the fair land, a property of twenty miles in circumference had 
shortly before his visit been purchased for less than £1000, or 
64800.* In another part of the country, one of twelve miles in 
circumference had been purchased for a considerably smaller sum. j" 
The slave trade, black and white, had never been more active ;t 
and this was a necessary consequence of the decline in the value 
of labour and land. 

In this country, negro men are well fed, clothed, and lodged, 
and are gradually advancing toward freedom. Population there- 
fore increases, although more slowly than would be the case were 
they enabled more to combine their efforts for the improvement 
of their condition. In the West Indies, Portugal, and Turkey, be- 
ing neither well fed, clothed, nor lodged, their condition declines; 
and as they can neither be bought nor sold, they are allowed 
to die off, and population diminishes as the tendency toward 
the subjugation of the labourer becomes more and more complete. 
"Which of these conditions tends most to favour advance in civil- 
ization the reader may decide. 

* Mac larlane, vol. ii. 242. f Ibid. 296. J Ibid. vol. i. 3T. 




Ix no part of the world has there existed the same tendency to 
voluntary association, the distinguishing mark of freedom, as in 
India. In none have the smaller communities been to the same 
extent permitted the exercise of self-government. Each Hindoo 
village had its distinct organization, and under its simple and 
" almost patriarchal arrangements/ ' says, Mr. Greig,* — 

"The natives of Hindoostan seem to have lived from the earliest, 
down, comparatively speaking, to late times — if not free from the 
troubles and annoyances to which men in all conditions of society are 
more or less subject, still in the full enjoyment, each individual, of his 
property, and of a very considerable share of personal liberty. * ' ;f * 
Leave him in possession of the farm which his forefathers owned, 
and preserve entire the institutions to which he had from infancy been 
accustomed, and the simple Hindoo would give himself no concern 
whatever as to the intrigues and cabals which took place at the capital. 
Dynasties might displace one another ; revolutions might recur ; and 
the persons of his sovereigns might change every day; but so long as 
Lis 'jwn little society remained undisturbed, all other contingencies 
were to him subjects scarcely of speculation. To this, indeed, more 
than to any other cause, is to be ascribed the facility with which one 
conqueror after another has overrun different parts of India; which 
submitted, not so much because its inhabitants were wanting in courage, 
as because to the great majority among them it signified nothing by 
whom the reins of the supreme government were held. A third conse- 
quence of the village system has been one which men will naturally 
regard as advantageous or the reverse, according to the opinions which 
they hold, touching certain abstract points into which it is not neces- 
sary to enter here. Perhaps there are not to be found on the face of 
the earth, a race of human beings whose attachment to their native 
place will bear a comparison with that of the Hindoos. There are no 
privations which the Hindoo will hesitate to bear, rather than volun- 
tarily abandon the spot where he was born ; and if continued oppres- 
sion drive him forth, he will return to it again after long years of exile 
with fresh fondness/' 

The Mohammedan conquest left these simple and beautiful in- 
* History of British India, vol. i. 46. 


stitutions untouched. "Each Hindoo village/' says Col. Briggs, 
in his work on the land tax — 

"Had its distinct municipality, and over a certain number of villa- 
ges, or district, was an hereditary chief and accountant, both pos- 
sessing great local influence and authority, and certain territorial do- 
mains or estates. The Mohammedans early saw the policy of not dis- 
turbing an institution so complete, and they availed themselves of the 
local influence of these officers to reconcile their subjects to their rule. 
* * * From the existence of these local Hindoo chiefs at the end of six 
centuries in all countries conquered by the Mohammedans, it is fair to 
conclude that they were cherished and maintained with great atten- 
tion as the key-stone of their civil government. While the administra- 
tion of the police, and the collection of the revenues, were left in the 
hands of these local chiefs, every part of the new territory was retained 
under military occupation by an officer of rank, and a considerable body 
of Mohammedan soldiers.* * * In examining the details of Mohammedan 
hist'iiy. which has been minute in recording the rise and progress of 
all these kingdoms, we nowhere discover any attempt to alter the sys- 
tem originally adopted. The ministers, the nobles, and the military 
chiefs, all bear Mohammedan names and titles, but no account is given 
of the Hindoo institutions being subverted, or Mohammedan officers 
being employed in the minor details of the civil administration. 

'•It would appe&r from this that the Moslems, so far from imposing 
their own laws upon their subjects, treated the customs of the latter 
with the utmost respect ; and that they did so because experience taught 
them that their own interests were advanced by a line of policy so pru- 

Local action and local combination are everywhere conspicuous 
in the history of this country. With numerous rulers, some of 
whom to a greater or less extent acknowledged the superiority of 
the Sovereign of Delhi, the taxes required for their support were 
heavy, but they were locally expended, and if the cultivator con- 
tributed too large a portion of his grain, it was at least consumed 
in a neighbouring market, and nothing went from off the land. 
Manufactures, too, were widely spread, and thus was made a de- 
mand for the labour not required in agriculture. " On the coast 
of Coromandel," says Orme,* "and in the province of Bengal, 
when at some distance from a high road or principal town, it is 
difficult to find a village in which every man, woman, and child is 
not employed in making a piece of cloth. At present," he con- 
tinues, " much the greatest part of whole provinces are employed 

» Historical Fragments, 409. 


in this single manufacture. " Its progress, as he says, " includes 
no less than a description of the lives of half the inhabitants of 
Indostan." While employment was thus locally subdivided, tending 
to enable neighbour to exchange with neighbour, the exchanges 
between the producers of food, or of salt, in one part of the country 
and the producers of cotton and manufacturers of cloth in another, 
tended to the production of commerce with more distant men, and 
this tendency was much increased by the subdivision of the cotton 
manufacture itself. Bengal was celebrated for the finest muslins, 
the consumption of which at Delhi, and in Northern India generally, 
was large, while the Coromandel coast was equally celebrated for 
the best chintzes and calicoes, leaving to "Western India the manu- 
facture of strong and inferior goods of every kind. Under these 
circumstances it is no matter of surprise that the country was rich, 
and that its people, although often over-taxed, and sometimes 
plundered by invading armies, were prosperous in a high degree. 

Xearly a century has now elapsed since, by the battle of Plassey, 
British power was established in India, and from that day local 
action has tended to disappear, and centralization to take its place. 
From its date to the close of the century there was a rapidly in- 
creasing tendency towrd having all the affairs of the princes and 
the people settled by the representatives of the Company esta- 
blished in Calcutta, and as usual in such cases, the country was 
filled with adventurers, very many of whom were wholly without 
principle, men whose sole object was that of the accumulation of 
fortune by any means, however foul, as is well known by all who 
are familiar with the indignant denunciations of Burke. * England 
was thus enriched as India was impoverished, and as centralization 
was more and more established. 

* " The country was laid waste with, fire and sword, and that land distin- 
guished ahove most others by the cheerful face of fraternal government and pro- 
tected labour, the chosen seat of cultivation and plenty, is now almost throughout 
a dreary desert covered with rushes and briers, and jungles full of wild beasts.* * * 
That uni versa!, systematic breach of treaties, which had made the British faith 
proverbial in the East! These intended rebellions are one of the Company's 
standing resources. When money has been thought to be hoarded up anywhere, 
its owners are universally accused of rebellion, until they are acquitted of their 
money and their treasons at once ! The money once taken, all accusation, trial, 
and punishment ends." — Speech on Fox's East India Bill. 


Step by step tEe power of the Company was extended, and 
everywhere was adopted the Hindoo principle that the sovereign 
was proprietor of the soil, and sole landlord, and as such the govern- 
ment claimed to be entitled to one-half of the gross produce of the 
land. " Wherever/ 7 says Mr. Rickards, long an eminent servant 
of the Company, 

" The British power supplanted that of the Mohammedans in Bengal, 
we did not, it is true, adopt the sanguinary part of their creed ; but 
from the impure fountain of their financial system, did we, to our 
shame, claim the inheritance to a right to seize upon half the gross pro- 
duce of the land as a tax ; and wherever our arms have triumphed, we 
have invariably proclaimed this savage right: coupling it at the same 
time with the senseless doctrine of the proprietary right to these lands 
being also vested in the sovereign, in virtue of the right of conquest." 
— Richards' s India, vol. i, 275. 

Under the earlier Mohammedan sovereigns, this land-tax, now 
designated as rent, had been limited to a thirteenth, and from that 
to a sixth of the produce of the land ; but in the reign of Akber 
(16th century) it was fixed at one-third, numerous other taxes 
being at the same time abolished. With the decline and gradual 
dissolution of the empire, the local sovereigns not only increased 
it, but revived the taxes that had been discontinued, and instituted 
others of a most oppressive kind ; all of which were continued by 
the Company, while the land-tax was maintained at its largest 
amount. While thus imposing taxes at discretion the Company 
had also a monopoly of trade, and it could dictate the prices of all 
it had to sell, as well as of all that it needed to buy ; and here was 
a further and most oppressive tax, all of which was for the benefit 
of absentee landlords. 

With the further extension of power, the demands on the Com- 
pany's treasury increased without an increase of the power to meet 
them ) for exhaustion is a natural consequence of absenteeism, or 
centralization, as has so well been proved in Ireland. The people 
became less able to pay the taxes, and as the government could not 
be carried on without revenue, a permanent settlement was made 
by Lord Cornwallis, by means of which all the rights of village 
proprietors, over a large portion of Bengal, were sacrificed in favour 
of the Zemindars, who were thus at once constituted great landed 



proprietors and absolute masters of a host of poor tenants, "with 
power to punish at discretion those who were so unfortunate as 
not to be able to j>ay a rent the amount of which had no limit but 
that of the power to extort it. It was the middleman system of 
Ireland transplanted to India ; but the results were at first unfa- 
vourable to the Zemindars, as the rents, for which they themselves 
were responsible to the government, were so enormous that all the 
rack-renting and all the flogging inflicted upon the poor cultivators 
could not enable them to pay j and but few years elapsed before 
the Zemindars themselves were sold out to make way for another 
set as keen and as hard-hearted as themselves. That system hav- 
ing failed to answer the purpose, it was next determined to arrest 
the extension of the permanent settlement, and to settle with each 
little ryot, or cultivator, to the entire exclusion of the village 
authorities, by whom, under the native governments, the taxes had 
uniformly been so equitably and satisfactorily distributed. The 
Ryotwar system was thus established, and how it has operated may 
be judged from the following sketch, presented by Mr. Fullerton, a 
member of the Council at Madras : — 

" Imagine the revenue leviable through the agency of one hundred 
thousand revenue officers, collected or remitted at their discretion, 
according to the occupant's means of paying, whether from the pro- 
duce of his land or his separate property ; and in order to encourage 
every man to act as a spy on his neighbour, and report his means of 
paying, that he may eventually save himself from extra demand, ima- 
gine all the cultivators of a village liable at all times to a separate de- 
mand, in order to make up for the failure of one or more individuals 
of the parish. Imagine collectors to every county, acting under the 
orders of a board, on the avowed principle of destroying all competition 
for labour by a general equalization of assessment, seizing and sending 
back runaways to each other. And, lastly, imagine the collector the 
sole magistrate or justice of the peace of the county, through the me- 
dium and instrumentality of whom alone any criminal complaint of 
personal grievance suffered by the subject can reach the superior courts. 
Imagine, at the same time, every subordinate officer employed in the 
collection of the land revenue to be a police officer, vested with the 
power to fine, confine, put in the stocks, and flog any inhabitant with- 
in his range, on any charge, without oath of the accuser or sworn re- 
corded evidence of the case."* 

Quoted in Thompson's Lectures on India, 61. 


Any improvement in cultivation produced an immediate increase 
of taxation, so that any exertion on the part of the cultivator would 
benefit the Company, and not himself. One-half of the gross pro- 
duce* may be assumed to have been the average annual rent, 
although in many cases it greatly exceeded that proportion. The 
Madras Revenue Board, May 17th, 1817, stated that the " con- 
version of the government share of the produce (of lands) is in 
some districts as high as 60 or 70 per cent, of the whole.""!" 

It might be supposed that, having taken so large a share of the 
gross produce, the cultivator would be permitted to exist on the 
remainder, but such is not the case. 3Ir. Rickards givesj a list of 
sixty other taxes, invented by the sovereigns or their agents, many 
of which he states to exist at the present day. Those who have 
any other mode of employing either capital or labour, in addition 
to the cultivation of their patches of land, as is very frequently 
the case, are subject to the following taxes, the principle of which 
is described as excellent by one of the collectors, December 1st, 
1812 :— 

" The Yeesabuddy, or tax on merchants, traders, and shopkeepers ; 
Mohturfa, or tax on weavers, cotton cleaners, shepherds, goldsmiths, 
braziers, ironsmiths, carpenters, stone-cutters. &e* : and Bazeebab, con- 
sisting of smaller taxes annually rented out to the highest bidder. The 
renter was thus constituted a petty chieftain, with power to exact fees 
at marriages, religious ceremonies ; to inquire into and fine the mis- 
conduct of females in families, and other misdemeanours ; and in the 
exercise of their privileges would often urge the plea of engagements 
to the Cirkar (government) to justify extortion. The details of these 
taxes are too long to be given in this place. The reader, however, 
may judge of the operation and character of all by the following selec- 
tion of one, as described in the collector's report : — 'The mode of set- 
tling the Mohturfa on looms hitherto has been very minute ; every 
circumstance of the weaver's family is considered, the number of days 
which he devotes to his loom, the number of his children, the assist- 
ance which he receives from them, and the number and quality of the 
pieces which he can turu out in a month or year ; so that, let him 
exert himself as he will, his industry will always be taxed to the high- 
est degree/ This mode always leads to such details that the govern- 
ment servants cannot enter into it, and the assessment of the tax is, in 

* Colonel Svkes states the proportion collected in the Deccan as much less 
than is above given. 

f Richards, vol. i. 288. % Vol. ii. 218. 


consequence, left a great deal too much to the Curnums of the villages. 
No weaver can possibly know what he is to pay to the Cirkar, till the 
demand come to be made for his having exerted himself through the 
year : and having turned out one or two pieces of cloth more than he 
did the year before, though his family and looms have been the same, 
is made the ground for his being charged a higher Mohturfa, and at 
last, instead of a professional, it becomes a real income tax."* 

The following will show that no mode of employing capital is 

allowed to escape the notice of the tax-gatherer : — 

"The reader will, perhaps, better judge of the inquisitorial nature 
of one of these surveys, or pymashees, as they are termed in Malabar, 
by knowing that upward of seventy different kinds of buildings — the 
houses, shops, or warehouses of different castes and professions — were 
ordered to be entered in the survey accounts ; besides the following 
' implements of professions' which were usually assessed to the public 
revenue, viz. : 

"Oil-mills, iron manufactory, toddy-drawer's stills, potter's kiln, 
washerman's stone, goldsmith's tools, sawyer's saw, toddy-drawer's 
knives, fishing-nets, barber's hones, blacksmith's anvils, pack bullocks, 
cocoa-nut safe, small fishing-boats, cotton-beater's bow, carpenter's 
tools, large fishing-boats, looms, salt storehouse."! 

" If the landlord objected to the assessment on trees as old and past 
bearing, they were, one and all, ordered to be cut down, nothing being 
allowed to stand that did not pay revenue to the state. To judge of 
this order, it should be mentioned that the trees are valuable, and com- 
monly used for building, in Malabar. To fell all the timber on a man's 
estate when no demand existed for it in the market, and merely because 
its stream of revenue had been drained, is an odd way of conferring 
benefits and protecting property ."J 

" Having myself," says Mr. 'Rickards, "been principal collector of 
Malabar, and made, during my residence in the province, minute in- 
quiries into the produce and assessments of lands, I was enabled to 
ascertain beyond all doubt, and to satisfy the revenue board at Madras, 
that in the former survey of the province, which led to the rebellion, 
lands and produce were inserted in the pretended survey account 
which absolutely did not exist, while other lands were assessed to the 
revenue at more than their actual produce."§ 

" Fifty per cent, on the assessment is allowed," says Mr. Campbell, || 
"as a reward to any informer of concealed cultivation, &c. ; and it is 
stated that there are, ' in almost every village, dismissed accountants 
desirous of being re-employed, and unemployed servants who wish to 
bring themselves to notice/ whose services as informers can be relied 

A system like this, involving the most prying supervision of the 

affairs of each individual, and in which, in settling the tax to be 

• Rickards, voL i. 500. f Ibid. 559. % Ibid. 558. § Ibid. 558. 

I! Campbell's Modern India, London, 1852, 356. 


paid, the collector takes into consideration the number of children" 
to be supported, makes the poor ryot a mere slave to the collec- 
tor, and with the disadvantage that the latter has no pecuniary 
interest in the preservation of his life, whereas the death of a slave, 
who constitutes a part of the capital of his owner, is a severe loss. 

The tendency thus far has been, as we see, to sweep away the 
rights not. only of kings and princes, but of all the native author- 
ities, and. to centralize in the hands of foreigners in Calcutta the 
power to determine for the cultivator, the artisan, or the labourer, 
what work he should do, and how much of its products he might 
retain, thus placing the latter in precisely the position of a mere 
slave to people who could feel no interest in him but simply as a 
tax-payer, and who were represented by strangers in the country, 
whose authority was everywhere used by the native officers in their 
emplo}*, to enable them to accumulate fortunes for themselves. 

The poor manufacturer, as heavily taxed as the cultivator of the 
earth, found himself compelled to obtain advances from his em- 
ployers, who, in their turn, claimed, as interest, a large proportion 
of the little profit that was made. The Company's agents, like the 
native merchants, advanced the funds necessary to produce the 
goods required for Europe, and the poor workmen are described as 
having been "in a state of dependence almost amounting to servi- 
tude, enabling the resident to obtain his labour at his own price.""f 

In addition to the taxes already described, a further one was col- 
lected at local custom-houses, on all exchanges between the several 
parts of the country ; and to these were again added others imposed 
by means of monopolies of tobacco and opium, and of salt, one of the 
most important necessaries of life. The manufacture of coarse salt 
from the earth was strictly prohibited. J The salt lakes of the upper 
country furnish a supply so great that it is of little value on the spot;§ 
but these lakes being even yet in the possession of native princes, 
the monopoly could then, and can now, be maintained only by aid 
of strong bands of revenue officers, whose presence renders that 

• Campbell's Modern India, 357. 
f Baines's History of the Cotton Manufacture. 
% Campbell's Modern India, 382. g Ibid. 381. 



which is almost worthless on one side of an imaginary line so valu- 
able on the other side of it that it requires the produce of the sixth 
part of the labour of the year to enable the poor Hindoo to pur- 
chase salt for his family. Along the seashore salt is abundantly 
furnished by nature, the solar heat causing a constant deposition 
of it ; but the mere fact of collecting it was constituted an offence 
punishable by fine and imprisonment, and the quantity collected 
by the Company's officers was limited to that required for meeting 
the demand at a monopoly price, all the remainder being regularly 
destroyed, lest the poor ryot should succeed in obtaining for him- 
self, at cost, such a supply as was needed to render palatable the 
rice which constituted almost his only food. The system has since 
been rendered less oppressive, but even now the duty is ten times 
greater than it was under enlightened Mohammedan sovereigns.* 

Such being the mode of collecting the revenue, we may now 
look to its distribution. Under the native princes it was, to a 
great extent, locally expended, whereas, under the new system, all 
the collections by government or by individuals tended to Calcutta, 
to be there disposed of. Thence no inconsiderable portion of it 
passed to England, and thus was established a perpetual drain that 
certainly could not be estimated at less than four millions of pounds 
sterling per annum, and cannot be placed, in the last century, at 
less than four hundred millions of pounds, or two thousand mil- 
lions of dollars. 

The difference between an absentee landlord expending at a dis- 
tance all his rents, and a resident one distributing it again among 
his tenants in exchange for services, and the difference in the value 
of the products of the land resulting from proximity to market, are 
so well exhibited in the following passage from a recent work on 
India, that the reader cannot fail to profit by its perusal : — 

" The great part of the wheat, grain, and other exportable land 
produce which the people consume, as far as we have yet come, is 
drawn from our Xerbudda districts, and those of Malwa which border 
upon them : and par consequent, the price has been rapidly increasing as 
we recede from them in our advance northward. Were the soil of those 

* Campbell's Modern India, 105. 


Nerbudda districts, situated as they are at such a distance from any 
great market for their agricultural products, as Lad as it is in the 
parts of Bundelcund that I came over, no net surplus revenue could 
possibly be drawn from them in the present state of arts and industry. 
The high prices paid here for land produce, arising from the necessity 
of drawing a great part of what is consumed from such distant lands, 
enables the Rajahs of these Bundelcund states to draw the large 
revenue they do. These chiefs expend the whole of their revenue in 
the maintenance of public establishments of one kind or other ; and as 
the essential articles of subsistence, iclieat and grain, &c, which are 
produced in their own districts, or those immediately around them, 
are not sufficient for the supply of these establishments, they must 
draw them from distant territories. All this produce is brought on 
the backs of bullocks, because there is no road from the districts 
whence they obtain it, over which a wheeled carriage can be drawn 
with safety ; and as this mode of transit is very expensive, the price 
of the produce, when it reaches the capitals, around which these local 
establishments are concentrated, becomes very high. They must pay 
a price equal to the collective cost of purchasing and bringing this 
substance from the most distant districts, to which they are at any 
time obliged to have recourse for a supply, or they will not be supplied ; 
and as there cannot be two prices for the same thing in the same 
market, the wheat and grain produced in the neighbourhood of one of 
these Bundelcund capitals, fetch as high a price there as that brought 
from the most remote districts on the banks of the Nerbudda river ; 
while it costs comparatively nothing to bring it from the former lands 
to the markets. Such lands, in consequence, yield a rate of rent much 
greater compared with their natural powers of fertility than those of 
the remotest districts whence produce is drawn for these markets or 
capitals; and as all the lands are the property of the Rajahs, they 
draw all these rents as revenue. 

"Were we to take this revenue, which the Rajahs now enjoy, in 
tribute for the maintenance of public establishments concentrated at 
distant seats, all these local establishments would of course be at once 
disbanded ; and all the effectual demand which they afford for the raw 
agricultural produce of distant districts would cease. The price of 
the produce would diminish in proportion ; and with it the value of 
the lands of the districts around such capitals. Hence the folly of 
conquerors and paramount powers, from the days of the Greeks and 
Romans down to those of Lord Hastings and Sir John Malcolm, who 
were all bad political economists, supposing that conquered and 
ceded territories could alwa} T s be made to yield to a foreign state the 
same amount of gross revenue they had paid to their domestic govern- 
ment, whatever their situation with reference to the markets for their 
produce — whatever the state of their arts and their industry — and what- 
ever the character and extent of the local establishments maintained 
out of it. The settlements of the land revenue in all the territories 
acquired in central India during the Mahratta war, which ended, in 
1817, were made upon the supposition, that the lands would continue 
to pay the same rate of rent under the new, as they had paid under the 
old government, uninfluenced by the diminution of all local establish- 


ments, civil and military, to one-tenth of what they had been ; that, 
under the new order of things, all the waste lands must be brought 
into tillage; and be able to pay as high a rate of rent as before tillage ; 
and, consequently, that the aggregate available net revenue must greatly 
and rapidly increase ! Those who had the making of the settlements, 
and the governing of these nevr territories, did not consider that the 
diminution of every establishment was the removal of a market — of an 
effectual demand for land produce ; and that when all the waste lands 
should be brought into tillage, the whole would deteriorate in fertility, 
from the want of fallows, under the prevailing system of agriculture, 
which afforded the lands no other means of renovation from over crop- 
ping. The settlements of the land revenue which were made through- 
out our new acquisitions upon these fallacious assumptions, of course 
failed. During a series of quinquennial settlements, the assessment 
has been everywhere gradually reduced to about two-thirds of what it 
was when our rule began ; and to less than one-half of what Sir John 
Malcolm, and all the other local authorities, and even the worthy Mar- 
quis of Hastings himself, under the influence of their opinions, expected 
it would be. The land revenues of the native princes of central India, 
who reduced their public establishments, which the new order of things 
seemed to render useless, and thereby diminished their only markets 
for the raw produce of their lands, have been everywhere falling off in 
the same proportion ; and scarcely one of them now draws two-thirds 
of the income he drew from the same lands in 1817. 

" There are in the valley of the Nerbudda, districts that yield a great 
deal more produce every year than either Orcha, Jansee, or Duteea; 
and yet, from the want of the same domestic markets, they do not 
yield one-fourth of the amount of land revenue. The lands are, how- 
ever, rated equally high to the assessment, in proportion to their value 
to the farmers and cultivators. To enable them to yield a larger re- 
venue to government, they require to have larger establishments as 
markets for land produce. These establishments may be either pub- 
lic, and paid by government, or they maybe private, as manufactories, 
by which the land produce of these districts would be consumed by 
people employed in investing the value of their labour in commodities 
suited to the demand of distant markets, and more valuable than land 
produce in proportion to their weight and bulk. These are the esta- 
blishments which government should exert itself to introduce and foster, 
since the valley of the Xerbudda, in addition to a soil exceedingly fer- 
tile, has in its whole line, from its source to its embouchure, rich beds 
of coal reposing for the use of future generations, under the sandstone 
of the Sathpore and Yindhya ranges ; and beds no less rich of very fine 
iron. These advantages have not yet been justly appreciated; but they 
will be so by and by."* 

From the concluding lines of this extract the reader will see 

that India is abundantly supplied with fuel and iron ore, and that 

if she has not good machinery, the deficiency is not chargeable to 

nature. At the close of the last century cotton abounded, and to so 

* Rambles in India, l>y Col. Sleeman, vol. i. p. 296. 


great an extent was the labour of men, women, and children ap- 
plied to its conversion into cloth, that, even with their imperfect 
machinery, they not only supplied the home demand for the beau- 
tiful tissues of Dacca and the coarse products of Western India, but 
they exported to other parts of the world no less than 200,000,000 
of pieces per annum. * Exchanges with every part of the world 
were so greatly in their favour that a rupee which would now 
sell for but Is. lOd. or 44 cents, was then worth 2s. Sd. or G4 
cents. The Company had a monopoly of collecting taxes in India, 
but in return it preserved to the people the control of their domestic 
market, by aid of which they were enabled to convert their rice, 
their salt, and their cotton, into cloth that could be cheaply carried 
to the most remote parts of the world. Such protection was needed, 
because while England prohibited the export of even a single col- 
lier who might instruct the people of India in the mode of mining 
coal — of a steam engine to pump water or raise coal, or a mechanic 
who could make one — of a worker in iron who might smelt the ore 
— of a spinning-jenny or power-loom, or of an artisan who could 
give instruction in the use of such machines — and thus systematic- 
ally prevented them from keeping pace with improvement in the 
rest of the world, — she at the same time imposed very heavy duties 
on the produce of Indian looms received in England. The day 
was at hand, however, when that protection was to disappear. The 
Company did not, it was said, export sufficiently largely of the pro- 
duce of British industry, and in 1813 the trade to India was thrown 
open — but the restriction on the export of machinery and artisans 
was maintained in full force ; and thus were the poor and ignorant 
people of that country exposed to " unlimited competition," with 
a people possessed of machinery ten times more effective than their 
own, while not only by law deprived of the power to purchase ma- 
chinery, but also of the power of competing in the British market 
with the produce of British looms. Further than this, every loom 
in India, and every machine calculated to aid the labourer, was sub- 
ject to a tax that increased with every increase in the industry of 

* Speech of Mr. G. Thompson in the House of Commons. 


its owner, and in many cases absorbed the whole profit derived 
from its use.* Suck were the circumstances under which the poor 
Hindoo was called upon to encounter, unprotected, the "unlimited 
competition" of foreigners in his own market. It was freedom of 
trade all on one side. Four years after, the export of cottons from 
Bengal still amounted to £ 1,659, 994, f but ten years later it had de- 
clined to £285,121; and at the end of twenty years we find a whole 
year pass by without the export of a single piece of cotton cloth from 
Calcutta, the whole of the immense trade that existed but half a cen- 
tury since having disappeared. What were the measures used for 
the accomplishment of the work of destroying a manufacture that 
gave employment and food to so many millions of the poor people 
of the country, will be seen on a perusal of the following memorial, 
which shows that while India was denied machinery, and also de- 
nied access to the British market, she was forced to receive British 
cottons free of all duty : — ; 

" Petition of Natives of Bengal, relative to Duties on Cotton and Silk. 

"Calcutta, 1st Sept. 1831. 
" To the Eight Honourable the Lords of His Majesty's Privy Council 
for Trade, &c. 

" The humble Petition of the undersigned Manufacturers and Dealers 
in Cotton and Silk Piece Goods, the fabrics of Bengal ; 

" Showeth — That of late years your Petitioners have found their 
business nearly superseded by the introduction of the fabrics of Great 
Britain into Bengal, the importation of which augments every year, to 
the great prejudice of the native manufacturers. 

"That the fabrics of Great Britain are consumed in Bengal, without 
any duties being levied thereon to protect the native fabrics. 

"That the fabrics of Bengal are charged with the following duties 
when they are used in Great Britain — 

"On manufactured cottons, 10 per cent. 
"On manufactured silks, 24 per cent. 

"Your Petitioners most humbly implore your Lordships' considera- 
tion of these circumstances, and they feel confident that no disposition 
exists in England to shut the door against the industry of any part of 
the inhabitants of this great empire. * 

"They therefore pray to be admitted to the privilege of British sub- 
jects, and humbly entreat your Lordships to allow the cotton and silk 
fabrics of Bengal to be used in Great Britain 'free of duty/ or at the 

* See page 133 ante. 

f Chapman's Commerce and Cotton of India, 74. 


game rate which may be charged on British fabrics consumed in 

" Your Lordships must be aware of the immense advantages the 
British manufacturers derive from their skill in constructing and using 
machinery, -which enables them to undersell the unscientific manufac- 
turers of Bengal in their own country: and, although your Petitioners 
are not sanguine in expecting to derive any great advantage from 
having their prayer granted, their minds would feel gratified by such 
a manifestation of your Lordships' good-will toward them; and such 
an instance of justice to the natives of India would not fail to endear 
the British government to them. 

"They therefore confidently trust that your Lordships' righteous 
consideration will be extended to them as British subjects, without ex- 
ception of sect, country, or colour. 

"And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray." 
[Signed by 117 natives of high respectability.] 

The object sought to be accomplished would not have, however, 
been attained by granting the prayer of this most reasonable and 
humble petition. When the export of cotton, woollen, and 
steam machinery was prohibited, It was done with a view of com- 
pelling all the wool of the world to come to England to be spun 
and woven, thence to be returned to be worn by those who raised 
it — thus depriving the people of the world of all power to apply 
their labour otherwise than in taking from the earth cotton, sugar, 
indigo, and other commodities for the supply of the great " work- 
shop of the world." How effectually that object has been accom- 
plished in India, will be seen from the following facts. From the 
date of the opening of the trade in 1813, the domestic manufacture 
and the export of cloth have gradually declined until the latter has 
finally ceased, and the export of raw cotton to England has gradu- 
ally risen until it has attained a height of about sixty millions of 
pounds,* while the import of twist from England has risen to 
twenty-five millions of pounds, and of cloth, to two hundred and 
sixty millions of yards, weighing probably fifty millions of pounds, 
which, added to the twist, make seventy-five millions, requiring for 
their production somewhat more than eighty millions of raw cotton. 
We see thus that every pound of the raw material sent to England 
is returned. The cultivator receives for it one penny, and when 

* Chapman, Cotton and Commerce of India, 28. 


it returns to him in the form of cloth, he pays for it from one to 
two shillings, the whole difference being absorbed in the payment 
of the numerous brokers, transporters, manufacturers, and opera- 
tives, men, women, and children, that have thus been interposed 
between the producer and the consumer. The necessary conse- 
quence of this has been that everywhere manufactures have disap- 
peared. Dacca, one of the principal seats of the cotton manufac- 
ture, contained 90,000 houses, but its trade had already greatly 
fallen off even at the date of the memorial above given, and its 
splendid buildings, factories, and churches are now a mass of ruins 
and overgrown with jungle. The cotton of the district found itself 
compelled to go to England that it might there be twisted and sent 
back again, thus performing a voyage of 20,000 miles in search of 
the little spindle, because it was a part of the British policy not to 
permit the spindle anywhere to take its place by the side of the 
cultivator of cotton. 

The change thus effected has been stated in a recent official re- 
port to have been attended with ruin and distress, to which "no 
parallel can be found in the annals of commerce." What were 
the means by which it was effected is shown in the fact that at this 
period Sir Robert Peel stated that in Lancashire, children were 
employed fifteen and seventeen hours per day during the week, 
and on Sunday morning, from six until twelve, cleaning the ma- 
chinery. In Coventry, ninety-six hours in the week was the time 
usually required ; and of those employed, many obtained but 2s. 9d. 
— 66 cents — for a week's wages. The object to be accomplished 
was that of underworking the poor Hindoo, and driving him from 
the market of the world, after which he was to be driven from his 
own. The mode of accomplishment was that of cheapening labour 
and enslaving the labourer at home and abroad. 

"With the decline of manufactures there has ceased to be a demand 
for the services of women or children in the work of conversion, 
and they are forced either to remain idle, or to seek employment in 
the field; and here we have one of the distinguishing marks of a 
state of slavery. The men, too, who were accustomed to fill up 
the intervals of other employments in pursuits connected with the 


cotton manufacture, were also driven to the field — and all demand 
for labour, physical or intellectual, was at an end, except so far as 
was needed for raising rice, indigo, sugar, or cotton. The rice 
itself they were not permitted to clean, being debarred therefrom 
by a duty double that which was paid on paddy, or rough rice, 
on its import into England. The poor grower of cotton, after pay- 
ing to the government seventy-eight per cent.* of the product of 
his labour, found himself deprived of the power to trade directly 
with the man of the loom, and forced into "unlimited competition'' 
with the better machinery and almost untaxed labour of our Southern 
States; and thereby subjected to "the mysterious variations of fo- 
reign markets" in which the fever of speculation was followed by the 
chill of revulsion with a rapidity and frequency that set at naught 
all calculation. If our crops were small, his English customers 
would take his cotton; but when he sent over more next year, 
there had, perhaps, been a good season here, and the Indian article 
became an absolute drug in the market. It was stated some time 
since, in the House of Commons, that one gentleman, Mr. Turner, 
had thrown £7000 worth of Indian cotton upon a dunghill, because 
he could find no market for it. 

It will now readily be seen that the direct effect of thus compel- 
ling the export of cotton from India was to increase the quantity 
pressing on the market of England, and thus to lower the price of 
all the cotton of the world, including that required for domestic 
consumption. The price of the whole Indian crop being thus ren- 
dered dependent on that which could be realized for a small sur- 
plus that would have no existence but for the fact that the domes- 
tic manufacture had been destroyed, it will readily be seen how 
enormous has been the extent of injury inflicted upon the poor 
cultivator by the forcible separation of the plough and the loom, and 
the destruction of the power of association. Again, while the price 

* Taking the last six of the thirteen years, the price of cotton was 2c?. a pound, 
and if the produce of a heegah was 6*. 6c/., of this the government took sixty-eight 
per cent, of the gross produce,- and taking the two years 1841 and 1842, cotton 
was lfrf. a pound, and the produce of a beegah was 5s. 8cZ. On this the assess- 
ment was actually equal to seventy-eight per cent, on the gross produce of the 
land. — Speech of Mr. Bright in the House of Commons. 



of cotton is fixed in England, there, too, is fixed the price of cloth, 
and such is the case with the sugar and the indigo to the produc- 
tion of which these poor people are forced to devote themselves ; 
and thus are they rendered the mere slaves of distant men, who 
determine what they shall receive for all they have to sell, and 
what they shall pay for all they require to purchase. Centraliza- 
tion and slavery go thus always hand in hand with each other. 

The ryots are, as we see, obliged to pay sixteen or eighteen 
pence for the pound of cotton that has yielded them but one 
penny ; and all this difference is paid for the labour of other peo- 
ple while idle themselves. 

" A great part of the time of the labouring population in India is," 
says Mr. Chapman,* " spent in idleness. I don't say this to blame 
them in the smallest degree. "Without the means of exporting heavy 
and crude surplus agricultural produce, and with scanty means, whe- 
ther of capital, science, or manual skill, for elaborating on the spot 
articles fitted to induce a higher state of enjoyment and of industry in 
the mass of the people, they have really no inducement to exertion 
beyond that which is necessary to gratify their present and very 
limited wishes ; those wishes are unnaturally low, inasmuch as they 
do not afford the needful stimulus to the exercise requisite to intellec- 
tual and moral improvement; and it is obvious that there is no remedy 
for this but extended intercourse. Meanwhile, probably the half of the 
human time and energy of India runs to mere waste. Surely we need 
not wonder at the poverty of the country. " 

Assuredly we need not. They are idle perforce. "With indif- 
ferent means of communication, their cotton and their food could 
readily travel in the form of cloth, and they could consume libe- 
rally of food and clothing ; but they find themselves now forced to 
export every thing in its rudest form, and this they are to do in a 
country that is almost without roads. The manner in which these 
raw products now travel may be seen on a perusal of the following 
passage from the London Economist: — 

"The cotton is brought on oxen, carrying 160 pounds each, at the 
extreme rate, in fair weather, of seven miles a day for a continuance, 
and at a price of about 5s. for each hundred miles. If we take the 
average distance to Mirzapore at 500 miles, each pound of cotton costs 
in transit alone above 2\d. It has thence to be borne by water-carriage 

* Chapman's Commerce and Cotton of India, 110. 


nearly 800 miles farther on to Calcutta. * * * The great cotton- 
growing districts are in the northern portion of the Peninsula, embrac- 
ing Guzerat, and a vast tract called the Decoan, lying between the 
Satpoora range of hills and the course of the Kishna River. General 
Briggs -ays — ' The cotton from the interior of the country to the coast 
at Bombay occupies a continuous journey of from one to two months, 
according to the season of the year ; while in the rains the route is 
wholly impassable, and the traffic of the country is at a stand.' 

" In the absence of a defined road, even the carriers, with their 
pack-cattle, are compelled to travel by daylight, to prevent the loss of 
their bullocks in the jungles they have to pass through, and this under 
a burning sun of from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The droves of 
oxen are never so few as one hundred, and sometimes exceed a thou- 
sand. Every morning after daylight each animal has to be saddled, 
and the load lifted on him by two men, one on each side ; and before 
they are all ready to move the sun has attained a height which ren- 
ders the heat to an European oppressive. The whole now proceeds at 
the rate of about two miles an hour, and seldom performs a journey 
of more than eight miles ; but, as the horde rests every fourth day, 
the average distance is but six miles a day. If the horde is overtaken 
by rain, the cotton, saturated by moisture, becomes heavy, and the 
black clayey soil, through which the whole line of road lies, sinks 
under the feet of a man above the ankle, and under that of a laden ox 
to the knees. 

" In this predicament the cargo of cotton lies sometimes for weeks 
on the ground, and the merchant is ruined.' 7 

" So miserably bad," says another writer, " are the existing means 
of communication with the interior, that many of the most valuable 
articles of produce are, /or want of carriage and a market, often allowed 
to perish on the farm, while the cost of that which found its way to the 
port was enormously enhanced ; but the quantity did not amount to 
above 20 per cent, of the whole of the produce, the remainder of the 
articles always being greatly deteriorated." 

It will scarcely be difficult now to understand why it is that 
cotton yields the cultivator but a penny per pound. Neither will 
it be difficult, seeing that the local manufacturers have everywhere 
been ruined, to understand why the producer of the more bulky 
food is in a condition that is even worse, now that the consumer 
has disappeared from his side. If the crop is large, grain is a drug 
for which scarcely any price can be obtained j* and if it is small, 
the people perish, by thousands and ten of thousands, of famine, 
because, in the existing state of the roads, there can be little or 
no exchange of raw products. In the first case the cultivator is 

« Chapman, 167. 


ruined, because it requires almost the "whole crop to pay the taxes. 
In the other he is starved ; and all this is a necessary consequence 
of a system that excludes the great middle class of mechanics and 
other working-men, and resolves a great nation into a mass of 
wretched cultivators, slaves to a few grasping money lenders. Under 
such circumstances, the accumulation of any thing like capital is im- 
possible. " None," says Colonel Sleeman,* " have stock equal to 
half their rent." They are dependent everywhere on the produce 
of the year, and however small may be its amount, the taxes must 
be paid, and of all that thus goes abroad nothing is returned. The 
soil gets nothing. f It is not manured, nor can it be under a sys- 
tem of absenteeism like this, and its fertility everywhere declines, 
as is shown by the following extracts : — 

" Formerly, the governments kept no faith with their land-holders 
and cultivators, exacting ten rupees where they had bargained for five, 
whenever they found the crops good; but, in spite of all this zolm, 
(oppression,) there was then more burkut (blessings from above) than 
now. The lands yielded more returns to the cultivator, and he could 
maintain his little family better upon five acres than he can now upon 
ten." J 

" The land requires rest from labour, as well as men and bullocks ; 
and if you go on sowing wheat and other exhausting crops, it will go 
on yielding less and less returns, and at last will not be worth the 

" There has been a manifest falling off in the returns." || 

The soil is being exhausted, and every thing necessarily goes back- 
ward. Trees are cut down, but none are planted ; and the former 
sites of vast groves are becoming arid wastes, a consequence of which 
is, that droughts become from year to year more frequent. 

"The clouds," says Colonel Sleeman,^[ "brought up from the south- 
ern ocean by the south-east trade-wind are attracted, as they pass over 
the island, by the forests in the interior, and made to drop their stores 
in daily refreshing showers. In many other parts of the world, govern- 
ments have now become aware of this mysterious provision of nature, 
and have adopted measures to take advantage of it for the benefit of 
the people ; and the dreadful sufferings to which the people of those 
of our districts, which have been the most denuded of their trees, 
have been of late years exposed from the want of rain in due season, 
may, perhaps, induce our Indian government to turn its thoughts to 
the subject." 

* Rambles, vol. i. 205. f Ibid. 268. % Ibid. vol. ii. U7. 

I Ibid. 153. || Ibid. 185. f Ibid. 1S9. 


In former times extensive works were constructed for irrigating 
the land, but they are everywhere going to ruin— thus proving 
that agriculture cannot flourish in the absence of the mechanic arts : 

" In Candeish, very many bunds [river-banks formed for purposes of 
irrigation] which were kept in repair under former governments, have, 
under ours, fallen to decay ; nevertheless, not only has the population 
increased considerably under our rule, but in 1846 or 1847, the col- 
lector was obliged to grant remission of land tax, 'because the abund- 
ance of former years lay stagnating in the province, and the low prices 
of grain from that cause prevented the ryots from being able to pay 
their fixed land assessment/ "* 

We have here land abandoned and the cultivator ruined for 
want of a market for food, and wages falling for want of a market 
for labour; and yet these poor people are paying for English food 
and English labour employed in converting into cloth the cotton 
produced alongside of the food — and they are ruined because they 
have so many middlemen to pay that the producer of cotton can 
obtain little food, and the producer of food can scarcely pay his 
taxes, and has nothing to give for cloth. Every thing tends, 
therefore, toward barbarism, and, as in the olden time of England and 
of Europe generally, famines become steadily more numerous and 
more severe, as is here shown : — 

" Some of the finest tracts of land have been forsaken, and given up 
to the untamed beasts of the jungle. The motives to industry have 
been destroyed. The soil seems to lie under a curse. Instead of yield- 
ing abundance for the wants of its own population, and the inhabitants 
of other regions, it does not keep in existence its own children. It be- 
comes the burying-place of millions, who die upon its bosom crying for 
bread. In proof of this, turn your eyes backward upon the scenes of 
the past year. Go with me into the north-western provinces of the 
Bengal presidency, and I will show you the bleaching skeletons of five 
hundred thousand human beings, who perished of hunger in the space 
of a few short months. Yes, died of hunger in what has been justly 
called the granary of the world. Bear with me, if I speak of the 
scenes which were exhibited during the prevalence of this famine. 
The air for miles was poisoned by the effluvia emitted from the putre- 
fying bodies of the dead. The rivers were choked with the corpses 
thrown into their channels. Mothers cast their little ones beneath the 
rolling waves, because they would not see them draw their last gasp 
and feel them stiffen in their arms. The English in the city were pre- 
vented from taking their customary evening drives. Jackalls and vul- 

* Chapman, 97. 


tures approached, and fastened upon the bodies of men, women, and 
children, before life was extinct. Madness, disease, despair stalked 
abroad, and no human power present to arrest their progress. It worn 
the carnival of death! And this occurred in British India — in the 
reign of Victoria the First ! Nor was the event extraordinary and un- 
foreseen. Far from it: 1835-36 witnessed a famine in the northern 
provinces : 1833 beheld one to the eastward : 1822-23 saw one in the 
Deccan. They have continued to increase in frequency and extent 
under our sway for more than half a century."* 

The famine of 1838 is thus described by Mr. George Thompson, 
late M. P., on the testimony of a gentleman of high respectability : 

"The poorer houses were entirely unroofed, the thatches having been 
given to feed the cattle, which had nevertheless died; so that cattle had 
disappeared altogether from the land. He says that a few attenuated 
beings, more like skeletons than human creatures, were seen hovering 
about among the graves of those who had been snatched away by 
the famine ; that desertion was everywhere visible, and that the silence 
of death reigned. In one of the villages, he says, an old man from 
whom they had bought a goat during their former visit, in 1833, was 
the only survivor of the whole community except his brother's son, 
whom he was cherishing and endeavouring to keep alive, and these two 
had subsisted altogether upon the eleemosynary bounty of travellers. 
The courier of Lord Auckland had informed this gentleman that when 
the governor-general passed through that part of the country the roads 
were lined on either side with heaps of dead bodies, and that they had 
not unfrequently to remove those masses of unburied human beings, 
ere the governor-general could proceed onward with his suite ; and 
that every day from 2000 to 3000 famishing wretches surrounded and 
followed the carriages, to whom he dealt out a scanty meal ; and. on 
one occasion the horse of the courier took fright, and on the cause 
being ascertained — what was it? It was found to be the lifeless body 
of a man who had died with his hand in his mouth, from which, he had 
already devoured the fingers."f 

The more severe the pressure on the poor ryot, the greater 
is the power of the few who are always ready to profit by the losses 
of their neighbours. These poor people are obliged to borrow 
money on their growing crops, the prices of which are regulated by 
the will of the lender rather than by the standard of the market, and 
the rate of interest which the cultivators pay for these loans is 
often not less than 40 or 50 per cent. 

A recent traveller says of the unfortunate cultivator — 

" Always oppressed, ever in poverty, the ryot is compelled to seek 
the aid of the mahajun, or native money-lender. This will frequently 

* Thompson's Lectures on India, 57. f Ibid. 1S5. 


be the tnlukdhar, or sub-renter, -who exacts from the needy borrower 

whatever interest he thinks the unfortunate may be able to pay him, 
often at the rate of one per cent, per week. The accounts of these 
loans are kept by the mahajuns, who, aware of the deep ignorance of 
their clients, falsify their books, without fear of detection. In this way, 
no matter how favourable the season, how large the crop, the grasping 
mahajun is sure to make it appear that the whole is due to him ; for he 
takes it at his own value. So far from Mr. Burke having overstated 
the case of the oppression of the ryots, on the trial of Warren Hast- 
ings, when he said that the tax-gatherer took from them eighteen 
shillings in every pound, he was realty within the mark. At the con- 
clusion of each crop-time, the grower of rice or cotton is made to appear 
a debtor to his superior, who thereupon — provided the ryot appears 
able to toil on for another season — advances more seed for sowing, and 
a little more rice to keep the labourer and his family from absolute 
starvation. But should there be any doubt as to the health and 
strength of the tenant-labourer, he is mercilessly turned from his land 
and his mud hut, and left to die on the highway." 

This is slavery, and under such a system how could the wretched 
people be other than slaves ? The men have no market for their 
labour, and the women and children must remain idle or work in 
the field, as did, and do, the women of Jamaica; and all because 
they are compelled everywhere to exhaust the soil in raising crops 
to be sent to a distance to be consumed, and finally to abandon the 
land, even where they do not perish of famine. Mr. Chapman in- 
forms us that — 

"Even in the valley of the Ganges, where the population is in some 
districts from 600 to 800 to the square mile, one-third of the cultivable 
lands are not cultivated; and in the Deccan, from which we must 
chiefly look for increased supplies of cotton, the population, amounting 
to about 100 to the square mile, is maintained by light crops, grown 
on little more than half the cultivable land."* 

Elsewhere he tells us that of the cultivable surface of all India. 
one-half is waste.\ Bishop Heber informs us of the " impenetrable 
jungle" that now surrounds the once great manufacturing city of 
Dacca; and the Bombay Times reminds its English readers of the 
hundreds of thousands of acres of rich land that are lying waste, 
and that might be made to produce cotton. 

"When population and wealth diminish it is always the rich soils 
that are first abandoned, as is shown in the Campagna of Rome, 

• Chapman, 22. f Ibid, 25. 


in the valley of Mexico, and in the deltas of the Ganges and the 
Xile. Without association they could never have been brought 
into cultivation, and with the disappearance of the power to asso- 
ciate they are of necessity allowed to relapse into their original 
condition. Driven back to the poor soils and forced to send abroad 
the product, their wretched cultivator becomes poorer from day to 
clay, and the less he obtains the more he becomes a slave to the 
caprices of his landlord, and the more is he thrown upon the mercy 
of the money-lender, who lends on good security at three per cent. 
per month, but from him must have fifty or a hundred per cent, for 
a loan until harvest. That under such circumstances the wages of 
labour should be very low, even where the wretched people are em- 
ployed, must be a matter of course. In some places the labourer has 
two and in others three rupees, or less than a dollar and a half, per 
month. The officers employed on the great zemindary estates have 
from three to four rupees, and that this is a high salary, is proved 
by the fact that the police receive but 48 rupees ($23) per annum, 
out of which they feed and clothe themselves! Such are the re- 
wards of labour in a country possessing every conceivable means of 
amassing" wealth, and they become less from year to year. " It 
could not be too universally known," said Mr. Bright in the House 
of Commons, two years since, 

"That the cultivators of the soil were in a very unsatisfactory con- 
dition; that they were, in truth, in a condition of extreme and almost 
universal poverty. All testimony concurred upon that point. He 
would call the attention of the house to the statement of a celebrated 
native of India, the Rajah Rammohun Roy, who about twenty years ago 
published a pamphlet in London, in which he pointed out the ruinous 
effects of the zemindary system, and the oppression experienced by the 
ryots in the presidencies both of Bombay and Madras. After describing 
the state of matters generally, he added, 'Such was the melancholy 
condition of the agricultural labourers, that it always gave him the 
greatest pain to allude to it.' Three years afterward, Mr. Shore, who 
was a judge in India, published a work which was considered as a 
standard work till now, and he stated that 'the British Government 
was not regarded in a favourable light by the native population of 
India,' — that a system of taxation and extortion was carried on 'un- 
paralleled in the annals of any country/ Then they had the authority 
of an American planter, Mr. Finnie,"who was in India in 1840, and 
who spoke of the deplorable condition of the cultivators of the soil, and 
stated that if the Americans were similarly treated, they would become 


as little progressive as the native Indians. ITe might next quote the 
accounts given by Mr. Marriott in 1838, a gentleman who -was for thirty 
years engaged in the collection of the revenue in India, and who stated 
that 'the condition of the cultivators was greatly depressed, and that 
he believed it was still declining.' There was the evidence of a native 
of India to which he might refer on this subject. It was that of a 
gentleman, a native of Delhi, who was in England in the year 1849, 
and he could appeal to the right lion, baronet the member for Tarn- 
worth in favour of the credibility of that gentleman. He never met 
with a man of a more dignified character, or one apparently of greater 
intelligence, and there were few who spoke the English language with 
greater purity and perfection. That gentleman had written a pam- 
phlet, in which he stated that throughout his whole line of march from 
Bombay he found the Xizam's territories better cultivated, and the 
ryots in a better state of circumstances, than were the Company's terri- 
tories, or the people residing within them, who were plunged in a state 
of the greatest poverty ; and he concluded his short, but comparatively 
full, notice of the present deplorable state of India, by observing that 
he feared this was but the prelude of many more such descriptions of 
the different portions of the Company's dominions which would be put 
forth before the subject would attract the notice of those whose duty it 
was to remove the evils that existed." 

"We have here confirmation of the correctness of the views of 
Colonel Sleeruan, that the condition of the people under the local 
governments is better than under the great central government. 
Heavily as they are taxed, a small part only of the proceeds of 
taxes goes, in these cases, to Calcutta on its way to England, 
whereas, of the enormous salaries paid to English governors and 
judges, nearly the whole must go abroad, as no one consents to 
serve for a few years in India, except on such terms as will enable 
him to accumulate a fortune and return home to spend it. In 
further confirmation of this we have the facts so fully given in Mr. 
Campbell's recent work, (Modern India, chap, xi.,) and proving 
that security of person and property increases as we pass/?w?i the 
old possessions of the Company, and toward the newly acquired 
ones. Crime of every kind, gang robbery, perjury, and forgery, 
abound in Bengal and Madras, and the poverty of the cultivator is 
so great that the revenue is there the least, and is collected with the 
greatest difficulty — and there, too, it is that the power of association 
has been most effectually destroyed. Passing thence to the Xorth- 
western provinces more recently acquired, person and property be- 
come more secure and the revenue increases; but when we reach 


the Punjab, which until now has been subject to the rule of Run- 
jeet Singh and his successors, we find that, tyrants as he and they 
have been represented, the people have there been left in the ex- 
ercise of self-government. The village communities and the beauti- 
ful system of association, destroyed in Bengal, there remain un- 
touched. Officers of all kinds are there more responsible for the 
performance of their duties than are their fellows in the older pro- 
vinces, and property and person are more secure than elsewhere in 
India. Gang robbery is rare, perjury is unfrequent, and Mr. 
Campbell informs us that a solemn oath is "astonishingly binding/' 
"The longer we possess a province," he continues, "the more com- 
mon and general does perjury become ;" and we need no better evi- 
dence than is thus furnished of the slavish tendency of the system. 
The hill tribes, on the contrary, are remarkable for their "strict 
veracity/' and Colonel Sleeman expresses the belief that "there 
is as little falsehood spoken in the village communities," as in any 
part of the world with an equal area and population.* In the new 
provinces the people read and write with facility, and they are men 
of physical and moral energy, good cultivators, and understand 
well both their rights and their duties; whereas from the older ones 
education has disappeared, and with it all power to associate 
together for any good purpose. In the new provinces, commerce is 
large, as is shown by the following facts representing the popula- 
tion and post-office revenue of Bengal, the N. AY. Provinces, and the 
Punjab, placed in the order of their acquisition by the Company : — 

Population. Post-office Revenue. 

Bengal 41,000,000 480,500 rupees. 

N. W. Provinces 24,000,000 978,000 " 

Punjab 8,000,000 178,000 " 

We have here exhibited the remarkable fact that in the country 
of the Sikhs, so long represented as a scene of grasping tyranny, 
eight millions of people pay as much postage as is paid by fifteen 
millions in Bengal, although in the latter is Calcutta, the seat of 
all the operations of a great centralized government. That such 

* Rambles in India, vol. ii. 109. 


should be the case is not extraordinary, for the power advantageously 
to employ labour diminishes with the approach to the centre of 
British power, and increases as we recede from it. Idleness and 
drunkenness go hand in hand with each other, and therefore it is that 
Mr. Campbell finds himself obliged to state that "intemperance in- 
creases where our rule and system have been long established."* 
We see thus that the observations of both Mr. Campbell and 
Colonel Sleeman, authors of the most recent works on India, confirm 
to the letter the earlier statements of Captain Westniacott, an extract 
from which is here given : — 

"It is greatly to be deplored, that in places the longest under our 
rule, there is the largest amount of depravity and crime. My travels 
in India have fallen little short of 8000 miles, and extended to nearly 
all the cities of importance in Northern, Western, and Central India. 
I have no hesitation in affirming, that in the Hindoo and Mussulman 
cities, removed from European intercourse, there is much less depra- 
vity than either in Calcutta, Madras, or Bombay, where Europeans 
chiefly congregate." 

Calcutta grows, the city of palaces, but poverty and wretched- 
ness grow as the people of India find themselves more and more 
compelled to resort to that city to make their exchanges. 
Under the native rule, the people of each little district could ex- 
change with each other food for cotton or cotton cloth, paying no 
body for the privilege. Now, every man must send his cotton to 
Calcutta, thence to go to England with the rice and the indigo of 
his neighbours, before he and they can exchange food for cloth or 
cotton — and the larger the quantity they send the greater is the 
tendency to decline in price. With every extension of the system 
there is increasing inability to pay the taxes, and increasing ne- 
cessity for seeking new markets in which to sell cloth and collect 
what are called rents — and the more wide the extension of the sys- 
tem the greater is the difficulty of collecting revenue sufficient for 
keeping the machine of government in motion. This difficulty 
it was that drove the representatives of British power and civil- 
ization into becoming traders in that pernicious drug, opium. 

" The very best parts of India/' as we are told,f "were selected for 

* Modern India, 394. f Thompson, Lectures on India, 25. 


the cultivation of the poppy. The people were told that they must 
either cultivate this plant, make opium, or give up their land. If 
they refused, they were peremptorily told they must yield or quit. 
The same Company that forced them to grow opium said, You must 
sell the opium to us ; and to them it was sold, and they gave the price 
they pleased to put upon the opium thus manufactured; and they 
then sold it to trading speculators at Calcutta, who caused it to be 
smuggled up the Canton River to an island called Lintin, and tea was 
received in exchange. At last, however, the emperor of China, after 
repeated threats, proceeded to execute summary justice ; he seized 
every particle of opium ; put under bond every European engaged in 
the merchandise of it; and the papers of to-day (1839) inform us that 
he has cut off the China trade, root and branch." 

Unhappily, however, the British nation deemed it expedient to 

make war upon the poor Chinese, and compel them to pay for the 

opium that had been destroyed ; and now the profits of the Indian 

government from poisoning a whole people have risen from £1,500,- 

000, at the date of the above extract, to the enormous sum of £3,500,- 

000, or $16,800,000, and the market is, as we are informed, still 

extending itself.* That the reader may see and understand how 

* The destruction of life in China from this extension of the market for the 
produce of India is stated at no less than 400,000 per annum. How this trade is 
regarded in India itself, by Christian men, may be seen from the following extract 
from a review, recently published in the Bombay Telegraph, of papers in regard 
to it published in Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, in which the review is now re- 
published : — 

" That a professedly Christian government should, by its sole authority and on 
its sole responsibility, produce a drug which is not only contraband, but essentially 
detrimental to the best interests of humanity ; that it should annually receive into 
its treasury crores of rupees, which, if they cannot, save by a too licentious figure, 
be termed 'the price of blood,' yet are demonstrably the price of the physical 
waste, the social wretchedness, and moral destruction of the Chinese; and yet 
that no sustained remonstrances from the press, secular or spiritual, nor from 
society, should issue forth against the unrighteous system, is surely an astonish- 
ing fact in the history of our Christian ethics. 

"An American, accustomed to receive from vs impassioned arguments against 
his own nation on account of slaver?/, might well he pardoned were he to say to us, 
■with somewhat of intemperate feeling, ' Physician, heal thyself,' and to expose 
with bitterness the awful inconsistency of Britain's vehement denunciation of 
American slavery, while, by most deadly measures, furthering Chinese demorali- 

The review, in referring to the waste of human life, closes as follows: — 
"What unparalleled destruction ! The immolations of an Indian Juggernauth 
dwindle into insignificance before it ! We again repeat, nothing but slavery is 
worthy to be compared for its horrors with this monstrous system of iniquity. As 
we write, we are amazed at the enormity of its unprincipledness, and the large 
extent of its destructiveness. Its very enormity seems in some measure to protect 


directly the government is concerned in this effort at demoralizing 

and enslaving the Chinese, the following extract is given : — 

" For the supply and manufacture of government opium there is a 
separate establishment. There are two great opium agencies at Gha- 
zeepore and Patna,for the Benares and Bahar provinces. Each opium 
agent has several deputies in different districts, and a native establish- 
ment. They enter into contracts with the cultivators for the supply 
of opium at a rate fixed to meet the market. The land revenue authori- 
ties do not interfere, except to prevent cultivation without permission. 
Government merely bargains with the cultivators as cultivators, in the 
same way as a private merchant would, and makes advances to them for 
the cultivation. The only difficulty found is to prevent their cultivating 
too much, as the rates are favourable, government a sure purchaser, 
and the cultivation liked. The land cultivated is measured, and pre- 
caution is taken that the produce is all sold to government. The raw 
opium thus received is sent to the head agency, where it is manufac- 
tured, packed in chests, and sealed with the Company's seal."* 

It would seem to the author of this paragraph almost a matter 
of rejoicing that the Chinese are bound to continue large con- 
sumers of the drug. " The failure of one attempt to exclude it 
has shown/' as he thinks — 

" That they are not likely to effect that object ; and if we do not sup- 
ply them, some one else will ; but the worst of it is, according to some 
people, that if the Chinese only legalized the cultivation in their own 
country, they could produce it much cheaper, and our market would 
be ruined. Both for their sakes and ours we must hope that it is not 
so, or that they will not find it out."f 

Need we wonder, when gentlemen find pleasure in the idea of an 
increasing revenue from forcing this trade in despite of all the efforts 
of the more civilized Chinese government, that " intemperance in- 
creases" where the British "rule and system has been long estab- 

it. "Were it "a minor evil, it seems as though one might grapple with it. As it is, 
it is beyond the compass of our grasp. No words are adequate to expose its evil, 
no fires of indignant feeling are fierce enough to blast it. 

"The enormous wealth it brings into our coffers is its only justification, the 
cheers of vice-enslaved wretches its only welcome ; the curses of all that is moral 
and virtuous in an empire of three hundred and sixty millions attend its intro- 
duction ; the prayers of enlightened Christians deprecate its course ; the indig- 
nation of all righteous minds is its only ' God-speed.' 

" It takes with it fire and sword, slaughter and death ; it leaves behind it bank- 
rupt fortunes, idiotized minds, broken hearts, and ruined souls. Foe to all the 
interests of humanity, hostile to the scanty virtues of earth, and warring against 
the overflowing benevolence of heaven, may we soon have to rejoice over its 
abolition !" 

* Campbell, 390. f Ibid. 393. 



lished ?" Assuredly not. Poor governments are, as we everywhere 
see, driven to encourage gambling, drunkenness, and other immorali- 
ties, as a means of extracting revenue from their unfortunate tax- 
payers ; and the greater the revenue thus obtained, the poorer become 
the people and the weaker the government. Need we be surprised 
that that of India should be reduced to become manufacturer and 
smuggler of opium, when the people are forced to exhaust the land 
by sending away its raw products, and when the restraints upon the 
mere collection of domestic salt are so great that English salt now finds 
a market in India ? The following passage on this subject is worthy 
of the perusal of those who desire fully to understand how it is that 
the people of that country are restrained in the application of their 
labour, and why it is that labour is so badly paid : — 

" But those who cry out in England against the monopoly, and their 
unjust exclusion from the salt trade, are egregiously mistaken. As 
concerns them there is positively no monopoly, but the most absolute 
free trade. And, more than this, the only effect of the present mode 
of manufacture in Bengal is to give them a market which they would 
never otherwise have. A government manufacture of salt is doubtless 
more expensive than a private manufacture ; but the result of this, 
and of the equality of duty on bad and good salt, is, that fine English 
salt now more or less finds a market in India ; whereas, were the salt 
duty and all government interference discontinued to-morrow, the 
cheap Bengal salt would be sold at such a rate that not a pound of 
English or any other foreign salt could be brought into the market."* 

Nevertheless, the system is regarded as one of perfect free trade ! 

Notwithstanding all these efforts at maintaining the revenue, 
the debt has increased the last twelve years no less than 
£15,000,000, or seventy-two millions of dollars; and yet the go- 
vernment is absolute proprietor of all the land of India, and enjoys 
so large a portion of the beneficial interest in it, that private pro- 
perty therein is reduced to a sum absolutely insignificant, as will 
now be shown. 

The gross land revenue obtained from a country with an area of 
491,448 square miles, or above three hundred millions of acres, 
is 151,786,743 rupees, equal to fifteen millions of pounds sterling, 
or seventy-two millions of dollars. j" What is the value of private 

» Campbell, 384. f Ibid. 377. 


rights of property, subject to the payment of this tax, or rent, may 
be judged from the following facts : — In 1848-9 there were sold for 
taxes, in that portion of the country subject to the permanent set- 
tlement, 1169 estates, at something less than four years' purchase of 
the tax. Further south, in the Madras government, where the ryot- 
war settlement is in full operation, the land " would be sold" for 
balances of rent, but " generally it is not/' as we are told, "and 
for a very good reason, viz. that nobody will buy it." Private 
rights in land being there of no value whatsoever, " the collector 
of Salem," as Mr. Campbell informs us — 

" Xa'ively mentions ' various unauthorized modes of stimulating the 
tardy,' rarely resorted to by heads of villages, such as - placing him in 
the sun, obliging; him to stand on one leg, or to sit with his head con- 
fined between his knees.' "* 

In the north-west provinces, " the settlement," as our author 
states, " has certainly been successful in giving a good market 
value to landed property;" that is, it sells at about "four years' 
purchase on the revenue."")* Still further north, in the newly 
acquired provinces, we find great industry, " every thing turned to 
account," the assessment, to which the Company succeeded on the 
deposition of the successors of Runjeet Singh, more easy, and land 
more valuable. J The value of land, like that of labour, therefore 
increases as we pass from the old to the new settlements, being 
precisely the reverse of what would be the case if the system 
tended to the enfranchisement and elevation of the people, and 
precisely what should be looked for in a country whose inhabitants 
were passing from freedom toward slavery. 

With the data thus obtained we may now ascertain, with per- 
haps some approach to accuracy, the value of all the private rights 
in the land of India. In no case does that subject to tax appear 
to be worth more than four years' purchase, while in a very large 
portion of the country it would seem to be worth absolutely nothing. 
There are, however, some tax-free lands that may be set off against 
those held under the ryotwar settlement • and it is therefore pos- 

* Campbell, 359. f Ibid. 332. % Ibid. 345. 


sible that the whole are worth four years' purchase, which would 
give 288 millions of dollars, or 60 millions of pounds sterling, as 
the value of all the rights in land acquired by the people of India 
by all the labour of their predecessors and themselves in the many 
thousands of years it has been cultivated. The few people that 
have occupied the little and sandy State of New Jersey, with its 
area of 6900 square miles, have acquired rights in and on the land 
that are valued, subject to the claims of government, at 150 mil- 
lions of dollars ; and the few that have occupied the little island 
on which stands the city of New York have acquired rights that 
would sell in the market for at least one-half more than could be 
obtained for all the proprietary rights to land in India, with 300 
millions of acres and 96 millions of inhabitants ! 

" Under the native princes/' says Mr. Campbell, u India was a pay- 
ing country." Under British rule, it has ceased to be so, because 
under that rule all power of combined action has been annihilated, 
or is in train to be, and will be so, by aid of the system that looks to 
compelling the whole people, men, women, and children, to work 
in the field, producing commodities to be exported in their raw 
state. Every act of association is an act of trade, and whatever 
tends to destroy association must destroy trade. The internal 
commerce of India declines steadily, and the external amounts 
to but about half a dollar per head, and no effort can make it grow 
to any extent. The returns of last year, of English trade, show a 
diminution as compared with those of the previous one, whereas 
with almost all other countries there is a large increase. Cuba 
exports to the large amount of twenty-five dollars per head, or 
almost fifty times as much as India ; and she takes of cotton goods 
from England four times as much per head; and this she does 
because it is a part of the policy of Spain to bring about combina- 
tion of action, and to enable the planter and the artisan to work 
together, whereas the policy of England is to destroy everywhere 
the power of association, and thus to destroy the domestic trade, 
upon which the foreign one must be built. Centralization is adverse 
to trade, and to the freedom of man. Spain does not seek to esta- 
blish centralization. Provided she receives a given amount of 


revenue, she is content to permit her subjects to employ them- 
selves at raising sugar or making cloth, as they please, and thus to 
advance in civilization ; and by this very course it is that she is 
enabled to obtain revenue. How centralization operates on the 
people and the revenue, and how far it tends to promote the civil- 
ization or the freedom of man, may be seen on a perusal of the 
following extract from a recent speech of Mr. Anstey, in the Bri- 
tish House of Commons : — 

" Such was the financial condition of India, which the right honour- 
able gentleman believed to be so excellent. The intelligent natives of 
India, however, who visited this country, were not of that opinion. 
They told us that the complaints sent from India to this country were 
disregarded here, and that they always would be disregarded as long 
as inquiry into them was imperial, not local. They stated that their 
condition was one of hopeless* misery, and that it had been so ever 
since they came under our rule. The result was, that cholera had 
become the normal order of things in that country, and in India it 
never died out. It appeared from the reports of medical officers in the 
army that it did not attack the rich and well-fed so frequently as it 
attacked the poor, and that among them it had made the most fearful 
ravages. The first authentic account they had of the appearance of 
the cholera in India was coincident with the imposition of the salt 
monopoly by Warren Hastings ; and by a just retribution it had 
visited their own shores, showing them with what a scourge they had 
so long afflicted the natives of India. It might be said of the other 
taxes that, in one form or another, they affected every branch of indus- 
try and every necessary of life. They affected even the tools of trade, 
and were sometimes equal in amount to the sum for which the tool 
itself could be purchased in the market. 

" When on a former occasion he had mentioned those facts before a 
member of the court of directors, he was told that if he had seen the 
papers in the archives, he would perceive that an alteration had taken 
place ; but he found, on an inspection of the papers, that the result to 
the purchaser of salt is almost equal to what it had been. It was a well 
known fact that the natives dare not complain. When they asked for 
protection from the laws, they were treated as Juttee Persaud had 
been treated last year — cases were fabricated against them, and they 
were prosecuted for their lives. With the examples before them of 
Xuncomar and Juttee Persaud, it was not surprising that the natives 
were so backward in bringing to justice the persons whose oppressions 
had been so great." 

It was in the face of facts like those here presented, and other 
similar ones presented to us in the history of Jamaica, that in a 
recent despatch Lord Palmerston thus instructed his minister at 
Madrid : — 



" I have to instruct your lordship to observe to M. de Miraflores 
that the slaves of Cuba form a large portion, and by no means an un- 
important one, of the population of Cuba ; and that any steps taken 
to provide for their emancipation would, therefore, as far as the black 
population is concerned, be quite in unison with the recommendation 
made by her Majesty's government, that measures should be adopted 
for contenting the people of Cuba, with a view to secure the connec- 
tion between that island and the Spanish crown ; and it must be evi- 
dent that if the negro population of Cuba were rendered free, that fact 
would create a most powerful element of resistance to any scheme for 
annexing Cuba to the United States, where slavery still exists. 

" With regard to the bearing which negro emancipation would have 
on the interests of the white proprietors, it may safely be affirmed that 
free labour costs less than slave labour, and it is indisputable that a 
free and contented peasantry are safer neighbours for the wealthy 
classes above them than ill-treated and resentful slaves ; and that 
slaves must, from the nature of things, be more or less ill-treated, is a 
truth which belongs to the inherent principles of human nature, and 
is quite as inevitable as the resentment, however suppressed it may be, 
which is the consequence of ill-treatment." 

The negroes of Jamaica have never been permitted to apply their 
spare labour even to the refining of their own sugar, nor are they 
so at this day. They must export it raw, and the more they send 
the lower is the price and the larger the proportion taken by the 
government — but the poor negro is ruined. Spain, on the contrary, 
permits the Cubans to engage in any pursuits they may deem most 
likely to afford them a return to labour and capital; and, as a ne- 
cessary consequence of this, towns and cities grow up, capital is 
attracted to the land, which becomes from day to day more valu- 
ble, labour is in demand, and there is a gradual, though slow, im- 
provement of condition. The power to resort to other modes of em- 
ployment diminishes the necessity for exporting sugar, and when 
exported to Spain, the producer is enabled to take for himself 
nearly the whole price paid by the consumer, the government 
claiming only a duty of fifteen per cent, 

The Hindoo, like the negro, is shut out from the workshop. 
If he attempts to convert his cotton into yarn, his spindle is taxed 
in nearly all of the profit it can yield him. If he attempts 
to make cloth, his loom is subjected to a heavy tax, from which 
that of his wealthy English competitor is exempt. His iron ore 
and his coal must remain in the ground, and if he dares to apply 


his labour even to the collection of the salt which crystallizes 
before his door, he is punished by fine and imprisonment. He 
must raise sugar to be transported to England, there to be ex- 
changed, perhaps, for English salt. For the sugar, arrived in that 
country, the workman pays at the rate perhaps of forty shil- 
lings a hundred, of which the government claims one-third, the 
ship owner, the merchant, and others, another third, and the re- 
maining third is to be fought for by the agents of the Company, 
anxious for revenue, and the poor ryot, anxious to obtain a little 
salt to eat with his rice, and as much of his neighbour's cotton, in 
the form of English cloth, as will suffice to cover his loins. 

Under the Spanish system capital increases, and labour is so 
valuable that slaves still continue to be imported. Under the 
English one, labour is valueless, and men sell themselves for long 
years of slavery at the sugar culture in the Mauritius, in Jamaica, 
and in Guiana. In all countries to which men are attracted, civil- 
ization tends upward; but in all those from which men fly, it tends 

At the moment this despatch was being written by Lord Pal- 
merston, Mr. Campbell was writing his book, in which it is every- 
where shown that the tendency of India toward centralization and 
absenteeism, and therefore toward exhaustion and slavery, is rapidly 
on the increase. " The communication with India," as he says — 

"Is every day so much increased and facilitated that we become 
more and more entirely free from native influence, and the disposition 
to Hindooize, which at first certainly showed itself, has altogether dis- 
appeared. The English in India have now become as English as in 

"While this state of things has great advantages, it has also some 
disadvantage in the want of local knowledge, and of permanency in 
the tenure of appointments which results. As there has been a con- 
stant succession of total strangers in every appointment, it follows that 
the government must be entirely carried on upon general principles, 
with little aid from local knowledge and experience." — P. 202. 

The tendency toward the transfer of English capital to India, as 
he informs us, retrogrades instead of advancing, and this is pre- 
cisely what we might expect to find to be the case. Capital never 
seeks a country from which men are flying as they now fly from 


India. The English houses bring none, but being in general 
mere speculators, they borrow largely and enter into large opera- 
tions, and when the bubble bursts, the poor Hindoo suffers in the 
prostration of trade and decline in the prices of cotton and sugar. 
"The consequence is," as Mr. Campbell says — 

" That European speculation has retrograded. Far up the country, 
where the agents of the old houses were formerly numerous and well 
supplied with money, the planters are now few and needy, and gene- 
rally earn but a precarious subsistence as in fact the servants of 
native capitalists." — P. 204. 

Iron, by aid of which the people might improve their processes 
of cultivation and manufacture, has little tendency toward India. 
The average export of it to that country in 1845 and '46 was but 
13,000 tons, value £160,000, or about two-pence worth for every 
five of the population. Efforts are now being made for the con- 
struction of railroads, but their object is that of carrying out the 
system of centralization, and thus still further destroying the 
power of association, because they look to the annihilation of what 
still remains of domestic manufacture, and thus cheapening cotton. 
"With all the improvements in the transportation of that commodity, 
its poor cultivator obtains less for it than he did thirty years since, 
and the effect of further improvement can be none other than that 
of producing a still further reduction, and still further deteriora- 
tion of the condition of the men who raise food and cotton. As yet 
the power of association continues in the Punjab, but it is proposed 
now to hold there great fairs for the sale of English manufactures, 
and the day cannot be far distant when the condition of the people 
of the new provinces will be similar to that of those of the old 
ones, as no effort will be spared to carry out the system which 
looks to driving the whole people to agriculture, and thus com- 
pelling them to exhaust their land. It is needed, says Mr. Chap- 
niak, the great advocate of railways in India, that the connection 
between " the Indian grower and English spinner" become more 
intimate, and " the more the English is made to outweigh the native 
home demand, the more strongly will the native agriculturist feel 
that his personal success depends on securing and improving his 


British connection"* — that is, the more the natives can be pre- 
vented from combining their labours, the greater, as Mr. Chapman 
thinks, will be the prosperity of India. Centralization has im- 
poverished, and to a considerable extent depopulated, that country, 
but its work is not yet done. It remains yet to reduce the people 
of the Punjab, of Affghanistan and Burmah, to the condition of the 

The Burmese war is, as we are informed, " connected with at 
least certain hopes of getting across to China through the Burmese 
territories,"")" and of course of extending the trade in opium through- 
out the whole of interior China; and the revenue from that source 
will pay the cost of annexation. It is by aid of this powerful 
narcotic, probably, that "civilization" is about, as we are told, 
to " plant her standard on the ruins of kingdoms which for thou- 
sands of years have been smouldering into dust/'J 

We are often told of " the dim moral perceptions of the people 
of India," and as many of those who will read this volume may 
be disposed to think that the cause of poverty lies in some de- 
ficiencies in the character of the Hindoo, it may not be im- 
proper, with a view to the correction of that opinion, to offer a 
few passages from the very interesting work of Colonel Sleeman, 
who furnishes more information on that head than any other re- 
cent traveller or resident; and his remarks are the more valuable 
because of being the fruit of many years of observation : — 

" Sir Thomas Munro has justly observed, ' I do not exactly know 
what is meant by civilizing the people of India. In the theory and 
practice of good government they may be deficient; but if a good 
system of agriculture — if unrivalled manufactures — if a capacity to 
produce what convenience or luxury demands — if the establishment 
of schools for reading and writing — if the general practice of kind- 
ness and hospitality — and above all, if a scrupulous respect and deli- 
cacy toward the female sex are amongst the points that denote a civil- 
ized people ; then the Hindoos are not inferior in civilization to the 
people of Europe/ — Rambles, vol. i. 4. 

" Our tents were pitched upon a green sward on one bank of a small 
stream running into the Xerbudda close by, while the multitude occu- 

* Chapman on the Commerce of India, 88. 

f Lawson'a Merchants' Magazine, January, 1853, 58. % Ibid. 51. 


pied the other bank. At night all the tents and booths are illuminated, 
and the scene is hardly less animating by night than by day ; but what 
strikes an European most is the entire absence of all tumult and dis- 
order at such places. He not only sees no disturbance, but feels 
assured that there will be none ; and leaves his wife and children in 
the midst of a crowd of a hundred thousand persons all strangers to 
them, and all speaking a language and following a religion different 
from theirs, while he goes off the whole day, hunting and shooting in 
the distant jungles, without the slightest feeling of apprehension for 
their safety or comfort." — Ibid. 2. 

" I am much attached to the agricultural classes of India generally, 
and I have found among them some of the best men I have ever known. 
The peasantry in India have generally very good manners, and are 
exceedingly intelligent, from having so much more leisure, and unre- 
served and easy intercourse with those above them." — Ibid. 76. 

" I must say, that I have never either seen or read of a nobler spirit 
than seems to animate all classes of these communities in India on 
such distressing occasions." — Ibid. 197. 

" There is no part of the world, I believe, where parents are so 
much reverenced by their sons as they are in India in all classes of 
society."— Ibid. 330. 

"An instance of deliberate fraud or falsehood among native mer- 
chants of respectable stations in society, is extremely rare. Among the 
many hundreds of bills I have had to take from them for private re- 
mittances, I have never had one dishonoured, or the payment upon 
one delayed beyond the day specified ; nor do I recollect ever hearing 
of one who had. They are so careful not to speculate beyond their 
means, that an instance of failure is extremely rare among them. No 
one ever in India hears of families reduced to ruin or distress by the 
failure of merchants and bankers ; though here, as in all other coun- 
tries advanced in the arts, a vast number of families subsist upon the 
interest of money employed by them. 

" There is no class of men more interested in the stability of our 
rule in India than this of the respectable merchants ; nor is there any 
upon whom the welfare of our government, and that of the people, more 
depend. Frugal, first, upon principle, that they may not in their ex- 
penditure encroach upon their capitals, they become so by habit ; and 
when they advance in life they lay out their accumulated wealth in 
the formation of those works which shall secure for them, from gene- 
ration to generation, the blessings of the people of the towns in which 
they have resided, and those of the country around. It would not be 
too much to say, that one-half the great works which embellish and 
enrich the face of India, in tanks, groves, wells, temples, &c, have been 
formed by this class of the people solely with the view of securing the 
blessings of mankind by contributing to their happiness in solid and 
permanent works." — Ibid. vol. ii. 142. 

"In the year 1829, while I held the civil charge of the district of 
Jubbulpore, in this valley of the Nerbudda, I caused an estimate to be 
made of the public works of ornament and utility it contained. The 


population of the district at that time amounted to live hundred thou- 
sand souls, distributed among four thousand and fifty-three occupied 
towns, villages, and hamlets. There were one thousand villages more 
which had formerly been occupied, but were then deserted. There 
were two thousand two hundred and eighty-eight tanks, two hundred 
and nine bowlies, or large wells, with nights of steps extending from the 
top down to the water when in its lowest stage ; fifteen hundred and 
sixty wells lined with brick and stone, cemented with lime, but with- 
out stairs ; three hundred and sixty Hindoo temples, and twenty-two 
Mohammedan mosques. The estimated cost of these works in grain at 
the present price, that is the quantity that would have been consumed, 
had the labour been paid in kind at the present ordinary rate, was 
eightv-six lacks, sixty-six thousand and forty-three rupees (86,06,043,) 
£866,604 sterling. 

" The labourer was estimated to be paid at the rate of about two- 
thirds the quantity of corn he would get in England if paid in kind, 
and corn sells here at about one-third the price it fetches in average 
seasons in England. In Europe, therefore, these works, supposing 
the labour equally efficient, would have cost at least four times the sum 
here estimated ; and such works formed by private individuals for the 
public good, without any view whatever to return in profits, indicates 
a very high degree of public spirit, 

" The whole annual rent of the lands of this district amounts to 
about six hundred and fifty thousand rupees a year, (£65,000 sterling,) 
that is, five hundred thousand demandable by the government, and 
one hundred and fifty thousand by those who hold the lands at lease 
immediately under government, over and above what may be con- 
sidered as the profits of their stock as farmers. These works must, 
therefore, have cost about thirteen times the amount of the annual rent 
of the whole of the lands of the districts — or the whole annual rent for 
above thirteen years !" — Ibid. vol. ii. 194. 

TVe have here private rights in land amounting to 150,000 
rupees, in a country abounding in coal and iron ore,* and with a 
population of half a million of people. Estimating the private 
interest at ten years' purchase, it is exactly three years' purchase of 
the land-tax; and it follows of course, that the government takes 
every year one-fourth of the whole value of the property, — at which 
rate the little State of New Jersey, with its half-million of inhabit- 
ants, would pay annually above thirty millions of dollars for the sup- 
port of those who were charged with the administration of its affairs ! 
Need we wonder at the poverty of India when thus taxed, while 
deprived of all power even to manure its land ? 

" Three-fourths of the recruits for our Bengal native infantry are 

* See page 110, ante. 


drawn from the Rajpoot peasantry of the kingdom of Oude, on the left 
bank of the Ganges, where their affections have been linked to the 
soil for a long series of generations. The good feelings of the families 
from which they are drawn, continue, through the whole period of 
their service, to exercise a salutary influence over their conduct as 
men and as soldiers. Though they never take their families with 
them, they visit them on furlough every two or three years, and 
always return to them when the surgeon considers a change of air 
necessary to their recovery from sickness. Their family circles are 
always present to their imaginations ; and the recollections of their 
last visit, the hopes of the next, and the assurance that their conduct 
as men and as soldiers in the interval will be reported to those circles 
by their many comrades, who are annually returning on furlough to 
the same parts of the country, tend to produce a general and uniform 
propriety of conduct, that is hardly to be found among the soldiers of 
any other army in the world, and which seems incomprehensible to 
those who are unacquainted with its source, — veneration for parents 
cherished through life and a never impaired love of home, and of all 
the dear objects by which it is constituted." — Ibid. vol. ii. 415. 

Such are the people that we see now forced to abandon a land 
of which not more than half the cultivable part is in cultivation — 
a land that abounds in every description of mineral wealth — and 
to sell themselves for long years of service, apart from wives, chil- 
dren, and friends, to be employed in the most unhealthful of all 
pursuits, the cultivation of sugar in the Mauritius, and the Sand- 
wich Islands, and among the swamps of British Guiana, and 
Jamaica, and for a reward of four or five rupees (82 to §2.50) 
per month. What was their condition in the Mauritius is thus 
shown by an intelligent and honest visitor of the island in 1838 : — 

" After the passage of the act abolishing slavery, an arrangement 
was sanctioned by the Colonial Government, for the introduction of a 
great number of Indian labourers into the colony. They were engaged 
at five rupees, equal to ten shillings, a month, for five years, with also 
one pound of rice, a quarter of a pound of dhall, or grain, a kind of 
pulse, and one ounce of butter, or ghee, daily. But for every day. 
they were absent from their work they were to return two days to 
their masters, who retained one rupee per month, to pay an advance 
made of six months' wages, and to defray the expense of their passage. 
If these men came into Port Louis to complain of their masters, they 
were lodged in the Bagne prison, till their masters were summoned. 
The masters had a great advantage before the magistrates over their 
servants: the latter being foreigners, but few of them could speak 
French, and they had no one to assist them in pleading their cause. 
They universally represented themselves as having been deceived with 
respect to the kind of labour to be exacted from them. But perhaps 


the greatest evil attendant on their introduction into the Mauritius 
■was the small proportion of females imported with them, only about 
two hundred being brought with upward of ten thousand men. It 
was evident that unless the system of employing them were closely 
watched, there was a danger that it might ultimately grow into another 
species of slavery."* 

We see thus that while the females of India are deprived of all 
power to employ themselves in the lighter labour of manufacture, 
the men are forced to emigrate, leaving behind their wives and 
daughters, to support themselves as best they may. The same 
author furnishes an account of the Indian convicts that had been 
transported to the island, as follows : — 

" Among the Indian convicts working on the road, we noticed one 
wearing chains ; several had a slight single ring round the ankle. 
They are lodged in huts with flat roofs, or in other inferior dwellings, 
near the road. There are about seven hundred of them in the island. 
What renders them peculiarly objects of sympathy is, that they were 
sent here for life, and no hope of any remission of sentence is held out 
to them for good conduct. Their's is a hopeless bondage ; and though 
it is said by some that they are not hard worked, yet they are gene- 
rally, perhaps constantly, breaking stones and mending the road, and 
in a tropical sun. There are among them persons who were so young 
when transported that, in their offences, they could only be looked on 
as the dupes of those that were older ; and many of them bear good 

At the date to which these passsages refer there was a dread- 
ful famine in India ; but, " during the prevalence of this famine," 
as we are told, — 

" Rice was going every hour out of the country. 230,371 bags of 
164 pounds each — making 37,780,84-4 lbs. — were exported from Cal- 
cutta. Where? To the Mauritius, to feed the kidnapped Coolies. 

* Backhouse's Visit to. the Mauritius, 35. 

f The danger of interference, even with the hest intentions, when unaccompa- 
nied hy knowledge, is thus shown by the same author, in speaking of Madagas- 
car : — 

* Dreadful wars are waged by the queen against other parts of the island, in 
which all the male prisoners above a certain stature are put to death, and the 
rest made slaves. This she is enabled to effect, by means of the standing army 
which her predecessor Hadama was recommended to keep by the British. * 
How lamentable is the reflection that the British nation, with the good intention 
of abolishing the slave trade, should have strengthened despotic authority and 
made way for all its oppressive and depopulating results, by encouraging the arts 
of war instead of those of peace !" — P. 24. 



Yes : to feed the men -who had been stolen from the banks of the 
Ganges and the hills adjacent, and dragged from their native shore, 
under pretence of going to one of the Company's villages, to grow in 
the island of Mauritius what they might have grown in abundance 
upon their own fertile, but over-taxed land. The total amount of rice 
exported from Calcutta, during the famine in 1838, was 151,923,696 
lbs., besides 13,722,408 lbs. of other edible grains, which would have 
fed and kept alive all those who perished that year. Wives might 
have been saved to their husbands, babes to their mothers, friends to 
their friends ; villages might still have been peopled ; a sterile land 
might have been restored to verdure. Freshness and joy and the 
voices of gladness might have been there. Now, all is stillness, and 
desolation, and death. Yet we are told we have nothing to do with 

The nation that exports raw produce must exhaust its land, and 
then it must export its men, who fly from famine, leaving the 
women and children to perish behind them. 

By aid of continued Coolie immigration the export of sugar 
from the Mauritius has been doubled in the last sixteen years, 
having risen from 70 to 140 millions of pounds. Sugar is there- 
fore very cheap, and the foreign competition is thereby driven 
from the British market. "Such conquests," however, says, very 
truly, the London Spectator — 

" Don't always bring profit to the conqueror ; nor does production 
itself prove prosperity. Competition for the possession of a field may 
be carried so far as to reduce prices below prime cost ; and it is clear 
from the notorious facts of the West Indies — from the change of pro- 
perty, from the total unproductiveness of much property still — that 
the West India production of sugar has been carried on, not only with- 
out replacing capital, but with a constant sinking of capital." 

The "free" Coolie and the "free negro" of Jamaica have been 
urged to competition for the sale of sugar, and they seem likely to 
perish together; but compensation for this is found in the fact that — 

"Free-trade has, in reducing the prices of commodities for home con- 
sumption, enabled the labourer to devote a greater share of his income 
toward purchasing clothing and luxuries, and has increased the home 
trade to an enormous extent."f 

What effect this reduction of " the prices of commodities for 

* Thompson's Lectures on British India, 187. 

f Lawson's Merchants' Magazine, January, 1853, 14. 


home consumption" has had upon the poor Coolie, may be judged 
from the following passage : — 

"I here beheld, for the first time, a class of beings of whom we have 
heard much, and for whom I have felt considerable interest. I refer 
to the Coolies imported by the British government to take the place 
of the faineant negroes, when the apprenticeship system was abolished. 
Those that I saw were wandering about the streets, dressed rather 
tastefully, but always meanly, and usually carrying over their shoulder 
a sort of chiffionier's sack, in which they threw whatever refuse stuff 
they found in the streets or received as charity. Their figures are 
generally superb, and their Eastern costume, to which they adhere as 
far as their poverty will permit of any clothing, sets off their lithe and 
graceful forms to great advantage. Their faces are almost uniformly 
of the finest classic mould, and illuminated by pairs of those dark 
swimming and propitiatory eyes, which exhaust the language of ten- 
derness and passion at a glance. 

" But they are the most inveterate mendicants on the island. It ia 
said that those brought from the interior of India are faithful and 
efficient workmen, while those from Calcutta and its vicinity are good 
for nothing. Those that were prowling about the streets of Spanish- 
town and Kingston, I presume, were of the latter class, for there is not 
a planter on the island, it is said, from whom it would be more difficult 
to get any work than from one of these. They subsist by begging 
altogether: they are not vicious, nor intemperate, nor troublesome par- 
ticularly, except as beggars. In that calling they have a pertinacity 
before which a Northern mendicant would grow pale. They will not 
be denied. They will stand perfectly still and look through a window 
from the street for a quarter of an hour, if not driven away, with their 
imploring eyes fixed upon you, like a stricken deer, without saying a 
word or moving a muscle. They act as if it were no disgrace for them 
to beg, as if the least indemnification which they are entitled to expect, 
for the outrage perpetrated upon them in bringing them from their 
distant homes to this strange island, is a daily supply of their few and 
cheap necessities, as they call for them. 

"I confess that their begging did not leave upon my mind the im- 
pression produced by ordinary mendicancy. They do not look as if 
they ought to work. I never saw one smile, and though they showed 
no positive suffering, I never saw one look happy. Each face seemed 
to be constantly telling the unhappy story of their woes, and like frag- 
ments of a broken mirror, each reflecting in all its hateful proportions 
the national outrage of which they are the victims. "* 

The slave trade has taken a new form, the mild and gentle 
Hindoo having taken the place of the barbarous and fierce African ; 
and this trade is likely to continue so long as it shall be held to 
be the chief object of the government of a Christian people to 

* Bigelow's "Jamaica in 1850," 17. 


secure to its people cheap cotton and sugar, without regard to the 
destruction of life of which that cheapness is the cause. The 
people of England send to India missionary priests and bishops, 
but they obtain few converts j nor can it ever be otherwise under a 
system which tends to destroy the power of association, and thus 
prevents that diversification of employments that is indispensable 
to the improvement of physical, moral, intellectual, or political 
condition. May we not hope that at no very distant day they 
will arrive at the conclusion that such association is as neces- 
sary to the Hindoo as they know it to be to themselves, and that 
if they desire success in their attempts to bring the followers of Mo- 
hammed, or of Brahma, to an appreciation of the doctrines of Christ, 
they must show that their practice and their teachings are in some 
degree in harmony with each other ? When that day shall come 
they will be seen endeavouring to remedy the evil they have 
caused, and permitting the poor Hindoo to obtain establishments in 
which labour may be combined for the production of iron and of 
machinery, by aid of which the native cotton may be twisted in the 
neighbourhood in which it is produced, thus enabling the now un- 
happy cultivator to exchange directly with his food-producing 
neighbour, relieved from the necessity for sending his products to 
a distance, to be brought back again in the form of yarn or cloth, 
at fifteen or twenty times the price at which he sold it in the form 
of cotton. That time arrived, they will appreciate the sound good 
sense contained in the following remarks of Colonel Sleeman : — 

" If we had any great establishment of this sort in which Christians 
could find employment, and the means of religious and secular in- 
struction, thousands of converts would soon flock to them ; and they 
would become vast sources of future improvement in industry, social 
comfort, municipal institutions, and religion. What chiefly prevents 
the spread of Christianity in India is the dread of exclusion from caste 
and all its privileges ; and the utter hopelessness of their ever finding 
any respectable circle of society of the adopted religion, which con- 
verts, or would be converts to Christianity, now everywhere feel. 
Form such circles for them — make the members of these circles happy 
in the exertion of honest and independent industry — let those who rise 
to eminence in them feel that they are considered as respectable and 
as important in the social system as the servants of government, and 
converts will flock around you from all parts, and from all classes of 
the Hindoo community. * '* • * I am persuaded that a dozen such 


establishments as that of Mr. Thomas Ashton, of Hyde, as described 
by a physician of Manchester, and noticed in Mr. Baines's admirable 
■work on the Cotton Manufactures of Great Britain, (page 447,) would 
do more in the way of conversion among the people of India than has 
ever yet been done by all- the religious establishments, or ever will be 
done by them without some such aid." — Vol. ii. 164. 

That there is a steady increase in the tendency toward personal 
servitude, or slavery, in India, no one can doubt who will study 
carefully the books on that country ; and it may not be amiss to 
inquire on whom rests the responsibility for this state of things. 
By several of the persons that have been quoted, Messrs. Thomp- 
son, Bright, and others, it is charged upon the Company ; but none 
that read the works of Messrs. Campbell and Sleeman can hesitate 
to believe that the direction is now animated by a serious desire 
to improve the condition of its poor subjects. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, the Company is nearly in the condition of the land-holders 
of Jamaica, and is itself tending toward ruin, because its subjects 
are limited to agriculture, and because they receive so small a por- 
tion of the value of their very small quantity of products. Now, 
as in the days of Joshua Gee, the largest portion of that value remains 
in England, whose people eat cheap sugar while its producer starves 
in India. Cheap sugar and cheap cotton are obtained by the sacri- 
fice of the interests of a great nation ; and while the policy of Eng- 
land shall continue to look to driving the women and children of 
India to the labours of the field, and the men to the raising of 
sugar in the Mauritius, the soil must continue to grow poorer, the 
people must become more and more enslaved, and the government 
must find itself more and more dependent for revenue on the power 
to poison the people of China; and therefore will it be seen that 
however good may be the intentions of the gentlemen charged with 
the duties of government, they must find themselves more and 
more compelled to grind the poor ryot in the hope of obtaining 





The government which followed the completion of the Revolu- 
tion of 1688, pledged itself to discountenance the woollen manu- 
facture of Ireland, with a view to compel the export of raw wool 
to England, whence its exportation to foreign countries was pro- 
hibited ; the effect of which was, of course, to enable the English 
manufacturer to purchase it at his own price. From that period 
forward we find numerous regulations as to the ports from which 
alone woollen yarn or cloth might go to England, and the ports of 
the latter through which it might come ; while no effort was spared 
to induce the people of Ireland to abandon woollens and take to 
flax. Laws were passed prohibiting the export of Irish cloth and 
glass to the colonies. By other laws Irish ships were deprived of 
the benefit of the navigation laws. The fisheries were closed 
against them. No sugar could be imported from any place but 
Great Britain, and no drawback was allowed on its exportation to 
Ireland ) and thus was the latter compelled to pay a tax for the 
support of the British government, while maintaining its own. 
All other colonial produce was required to be carried first to Eng- 
land, after which it might be shipped to Ireland; and as Irish 
shipping was excluded from the advantages of the navigation laws, 
it followed that the voyage of importation was to be made in British 
ships, manned b} T British seamen, and owned by British merchants, 
who were thus authorized to tax the people of Ireland for doing 
their work, while a large portion of the Irish people were them- 
selves unemployed. 

While thus prohibiting them from applying themselves to manu- 
factures or trade, every inducement was held out to them to confine 
themselves to the production of commodities required by the English 
manufacturers, and wool, hemp, and flax were admitted into Eng- 


land free of duty. "We see thus that the system of that day in 
reference to Ireland looked to limiting the people of that country, 
as it limited the slaves of Jamaica, and now limits the people of 
Hindostan, to agriculture alone, and thus depriving the men, the 
women, and the children of all employment except the labour of the 
field, and of all opportunity for intellectual improvement, such as 
elsewhere results from that association which necessarily accompa- 
nies improvement in the mechanic arts. 

During our war of the Revolution, freedom of trade was claimed 
for Ireland j and as the demand was made at a time when a large 
portion of her people were under arms as volunteers, the mer- 
chants and manufacturers of England, who had so long acted as 
middlemen for the people of the sister kingdom, found themselves 
obliged to submit to the removal of some of the restrictions under 
which the latter had so long remained. Step by step changes were 
made, until at length, in 1783, Ireland was declared independent, 
shortly after which duties were imposed on various articles of 
foreign manufacture, avowedly with the intention of enabling her 
people to employ some of their surplus labour in converting her 
own food and wool, and the cotton wool of other countries, into 
cloth. Thenceforward manufactures and trade made considerable 
progress, and there was certainly a very considerable tendency 
toward improvement. Some idea of the condition of the country 
at that time, and of the vast and lamentable change that has since 
taken place, may be obtained from the consideration of a few facts 
connected with the manufacture of books in the closing years of 
the last century. The copyright laws not extending to Ireland, all 
books published in England might there be reprinted, and accord- 
ingly we find that all the principal English law reports of the day, 
very many of the earlier ones, and many of the best treatises, as 
well as the principal novels, travels, and miscellaneous works, were 
republished in Dublin, as may be seen by an examination of any 
of our old libraries. The publication of such books implies, of 
course, a considerable demand for them, and for Ireland herself, as 
the sale of books in this country was very small indeed, and there 
was then no other part of the world to which they could go. More 


books were probably published in Ireland in that day by a single 
house than are now required for the supply of the whole kingdom. 
With 1801, however, there came a change. By the Act of 
Union the copyright laws of England were extended to Ireland, 
and at once the large and growing manufacture of books was pros- 
trated. The patent laws were also extended to Ireland ; and as 
England had so long monopolized the manufacturing machinery 
then in use, it was clear that it was there improvements would be 
made, and that thenceforth the manufactures of Ireland must retro- 
grade. Manchester had the home market, the foreign market, 
and, to no small extent, that of Ireland open to her; while the 
manufacturers of the latter were forced to contend for existence, 
and under the most disadvantageous circumstances, on their own 
soil. The one could afford to purchase expensive machinery, and 
to adopt whatever improvements might be made, while the other 
could not. The natural consequence was, that Irish manufactures 
gradually disappeared as the Act of Union came into effect. By 
virtue of its provisions, the duties established by the Irish Parlia- 
ment for the purpose of protecting the farmers of Ireland in their 
efforts to bring the loom and the anvil into close proximity with the 
plough and the harrow, were gradually to diminish, and free trade was 
to be fully established ) or, in other words, Manchester and Birming- 
ham were to have a monopoly of supplying Ireland with cloth and 
iron. The duty on English woollens was to continue twenty years. 
The almost prohibitory duties on English calicoes and muslins 
were to continue until 1808 ; after which they were to be gradually 
diminished, until in 1821 they were to cease. Those on cotton 
yarn were to cease in 1810. The effect of this in diminishing the 
demand for Irish labour, is seen in the following comparative view 
of manufactures at the date of the Union, and at different periods 
in the ensuing forty years, here given : — 

Dublin, 1800, Master woollen manufacturers 91 ... 1840, 12 

" Hands employed 4918 ... " 602 

" Master wool-combers 30 ... 1834, 5 

" Hands employed 230 ... " 66 

" Carpet manufacturers 13 ... 1841, 1 

" Hands employed 720 ... " none. 

Kilkenny, 1800, Blanket manufacturers 56 ... 1822, 42 


Kilkenny, 1800, Hands employed 3000 ... 1822, 925 

Dublin, 1800, Silk-loom weavers at work 2500 ... 1840, 250 

Balbriggan, 1799, Calico looms at work 2500 ... 1841, 226 

Wicklow, 1800, Hand-looms at work 1000 ... 1841, none. 

Cork, 1800, Braidweavers 1000 ... 1834, 40 

" Worsted weavers .2000 ... " 90 

" Hoosiers 300 ... " 28 

" Wool-combers 700 ... " 110 

" Cotton weavers 2000 ... " 220 

** Linen check weavers 600 ... " none. 

" Cotton spinners, bleachers, ) ,, , „ 

calico printers j thousa ^ s - 

" For nearly half a century Ireland has had perfectly free trade 
with the richest country in the world ; and what," says the author 
of a recent work of great ability, — 

"Has that free trade done for her? She has even now," he con- 
tinues, "no employment for her teeming population except upon the 
land. She ought to have had, and might easily have had, other and 
various employments, and plenty of it. Are we to believe/' says he, 
" the calumny that the Irish are lazy and won't work ? Is Irish human 
nature different from other human nature ? Are not the most laborious 
of all labourers in London and New York, Irishmen ? Are Irishmen 
inferior in understanding? We Englishmen who have personally 
known Irishmen in the army, at the bar, and in the church, know that 
there is no better head than a disciplined Irish one. But in all these 
cases, that master of industry, the stomach, has been well satisfied. 
Let an Englishman exchange his bread and beer, and beef and mut- 
ton, for no breakfast, for a lukewarm lumper at dinner, and no supper. 
"With such a diet, how much better is he than an Irishman — a Celt, as 
he calls him ? No, the truth is, that the misery of Ireland is not from 
the human nature that grows there — it is from England's perverse 
legislation, past and present.""* 

Deprived of all employment, except in the labour of agriculture, 
land became, of course, the great object of pursuit. "Land is life," 
had said, most truly and emphatically, Chief Justice Blackburn j 
and the people had now before them the choice between the occu- 
pation of land, at any rent, or starvation. The lord of the land 
was thus enabled to dictate his own terms, and therefore it has 
been that we have heard of the payment of five, six, eight, and 
even as much as ten pounds per acre. "Enormous rents, low 
wages, farms of an enormous extent, let by rapacious and indolent 
proprietors to monopolizing land-jobbers, to be relet by intermediate 
oppressors, for five times their value, among the wretched starvers 

* Sophisms of Free Trade, by J. Barnard Byles, Esq. 


on potatoes and water," led to a constant succession of outrages, 
followed by Insurrection Acts, Arms ActSj and Coercion Acts, 
when the real remedy was to be found in the adoption of a system 
that would emancipate the countrj- from the tyranny of the spindle 
and the loom, and permit the labour of Ireland to find employment 
at home. 

That employment could not be had. With the suppression of 
Irish manufactures the demand for labour had disappeared. An 
English traveller, describing the state of Ireland in 1834, thirteen 
years after the free-trade provisions of the Act of Union had come 
fully into operation, furnishes numerous facts, some of which will 
now be given, showing that the people were compelled to remain 
idle, although willing to work at the lowest wages — such wages as 
could not by any possibility enable them to do more than merely 
sustain life, and perhaps not even that. 

Cashel. — "Wages here only eightpence a day, and numbers altoge- 
ther without employment." 

Cahir. — "I noticed, on Sunday, on coming from church, the streets 
crowded with labourers, with spades and other implements in their 
hands, standing to be hired; and I ascertained that any number of 
these men might have been engaged, on constant employment, at six- 
pence per day without diet." 

AVicklow. — " The husband of this woman was a labourer, at sixpence 
a day, eighty of which sixpences — that is, eighty days' labour — were 
absorbed in the rent of the cabin." " In another cabin was a decently 
dressed woman with five children, and her husband was also a labourer 
at sixpence a day. The pig had been taken for rent a few days before." 
"I found some labourers receiving only fourpence per day." 

Kilkenny. — "Upward of 2000 persons totally without employ- 
ment." "I visited the factories that used to support 200 men with 
their families, and how many men did I find at work? One max! In 
place of finding men occupied, I saw them in scores, like spectres, 
walking about, and lying about the mill. I saw immense piles of goods 
completed, but for which there was no sale. I saw heaps of blankets, 
and I saw every loom idle. As for the carpets which had excited the 
jealousy and the fears of Kidderminster, not one had been made for 
seven months. To convey an idea of the destitution of these people, I 
mention, that when an order recently arrived for the manufacture of 
as many blankets for the police as would have kept the men at work 
for a few days, bonfires were lighted about the country — not bonfires 
to communicate insurrection, but to evince joy that a few starving men 
were about to earn bread to support their families. Nevertheless, we 
are told that Irishmen will not work at home." 


Callen. — "In this town, containing between four and five thousand 
inhabitants, at least one thousand are without regular employment, six 
or seven hundred entirely destitute, and there are upward of two hun- 
dred mendicants in the town — persons incapable of work." — In yl id's 
Ireland in 1834. 

Such was the picture everywhere presented to the eye of this in- 
telligent traveller. Go where he might, he found hundreds anxious 
for employment, yet no employment could be had, unless they 
could travel to England, there to spend iceeks in travelling round 
the country in quest of days of employment, the wages for which 
might enable them to pay their rent at home. a The Celt," says the 
Times, u is the hewer of wood and the drawer of water to the Saxon. 
The great works of this country," it continues, u depend on cheap 
labour." The labour of the slave is always low in price. The peo- 
ple of Ireland were interdicted all employment but in the cultiva- 
tion of the land, and men, women, and children were forced to 
waste more labour than would have paid twenty times over for all 
the British manufactures they could purchase. They were passing 
rapidly toward barbarism, and for the sole reason that they were 
denied all power of association for any useful purpose. What was 
the impression produced by their appearance on the mind of 
foreigners may be seen by the following extract from the work of a 
well-known and highly intelligent German traveller : — 

" A Russian peasant, no doubt, is the slave of a harder master, but 
still he is fed and housed to his content, and no trace of mendicancy 
is to be seen in him. The Hungarians are certainly not among the 
best-used people in the world ; still, what fine wheaten bread and what 
wine has even the humblest among them for his daily fare ! The Hun- 
garian would scarcely believe it, if he were to be told there was a 
country in which the inhabitants must content themselves with potatoes 
every alternate day in the year. 

" Servia and Bosnia are reckoned among the most wretched coun- 
tries of Europe, and certainly the appearance of ene of their villages 
has little that is attractive about it; but at least the people, if badly 
housed, are well clad. We look not for much luxury or comfort 
among the Tartars of the Crimea ; we call them poor and barbarous, 
but, good heavens ! they look at least like human creatures. They have 
a national costume, their houses are habitable, their orchards are 
carefully tended, and their gayly harnessed ponies are mostly in good 
condition. An Irishman has nothing national about him but his rags, 
— his habitation is without a plan, his domestic economy without rule 
or law. We have beggars and paupers among us, but they form at 


least an exception; whereas, in Ireland, beggary or abject poverty is 
the prevailing rule. The nation is one of beggars, and they who are 
above beggary seem to form the exception. 

"The African negroes go naked, but then they have a tropical sun 
to warm them. The Irish are little removed from a state of nakedness; 
and their climate, though not cold, is cool, and extremely humid.* * * 

"There are nations of slaves, but they have, by long custom, been 
made unconscious of the yoke of slavery. This is not the case with 
the Irish, who have a strong feeling of liberty within them, and are 
fully sensible of the weight of the yoke they have to bear. They are 
intelligent enough to know the injustice done them by the distorted 
laws of their country; and while they are themselves enduring the ex- 
treme of poverty, they have frequently before them, in the manner of 
life of their English landlords, a spectacle of the most refined luxury 
that human ingenuity ever invented." — Kohl's Travels in Ireland. 

It might be thought, however, that Ireland was deficient in the 
capital required for obtaining the machinery of manufacture to 
enable her people to maintain competition with her powerful neigh- 
bour. We know, however, that jDrevious to the Union she had that 
machinery; and from the date of that arrangement, so fraudulently 
brought about, by which was settled conclusively the destruction 
of Irish manufactures, the annual waste of labour was greater than 
the whole amount of capital then employed in the cotton and 
woollen manufactures of England. From that date the people of 
Ireland were thrown, from year to year, more into the hands of 
middlemen, who accumulated fortunes that they would not invest 
in the improvement of land, and could not, under the system which 
prostrated manufactures, invest in machinery of any kind calculated 
to render labour productive; and all their accumulations were sent 
therefore to England for investment. An official document pub- 
lished by the British government shows that the transfers of British 
securities from England to Ireland, that is to say, the investment 
of Irish capital in England, in the thirteen years following the final 
adoption of free trade in 1821, amounted to as many millions of 
pounds sterling; and thus was Ireland forced to contribute cheap 
labour and cheap capital to building up " the great works of Bri- 
tain." Further, it was provided by law that whenever the poor 
people of a neighbourhood contributed to a saving fund, the amount 
should not be applied in any manner calculated to furnish local 
employment, but should be transferred for investment in the 


British funds. The landlords fled to England, and their rent 
followed them. The middlemen sent their capital to England. 
The trader or the labourer that could accumulate a little capital 
saw it sent to England; and he was then compelled to follow it. 
Such is the history of the origin of the present abandonment of 
Ireland by its inhabitants. 

The form in which rents, profits, and savings, as well as taxes, 
went to England, was that of raw products of the soil, to be con- 
sumed abroad, yielding nothing to be returned to the land, which 
was of course impoverished. The average export of grain in the 
first three years following the passage of the Act of Union was 
about 300,000 quarters, but as the domestic market gradually 
disappeared, the export of raw produce increased, until at the 
close of twenty years it exceeded a million of quarters j and at the 
date of Mr. Inglis's visit it had reached an average of two and a 
half millions, or 22,500,000 of our bushels. The poor people 
were, in fact, selling their soil to pay for cotton and woollen goods 
that they should have manufactured themselves, for coal which 
abounded among themselves, for iron, all the materials of which 
existed at home in great profusion, and for a small quantity of tea, 
sugar, and other foreign commodities, while the amount required 
to pay rent to absentees, and interest to mortgagees, was estimated 
at more than thirty millions of dollars. Here was a drain that 
no nation could bear, however great its productive power; and the 
whole of it was due to the system which forbade the application 
of labour, talent, or capital to any thing but agriculture, and thus 
forbade advance in civilization. The inducements to remain at 
home steadily diminished. Those who could live without labour 
found that society had changed } and they fled to England, France, 
or Italy. Those who desired to work, and felt that they were 
qualified for something beyond mere manual labour, fled to 
England or America; and thus by degrees was the unfortunate 
country depleted of every thing that could render it a home in 
which to remain, while those who could not fly remained to be, as 
the Times so well describes it, mere " hewers of wood and drawers 



of water to the Saxon/' happy when a full-grown man could find 
employment at sixpence a day, and that, too, without food. 

" Throughout the west and south of Ireland," said an English 
traveller in 1842, four years before the exhaustion of the soil had 
produced disease among the potatoes — 

" The traveller is haunted by the face of the popular starvation. It 
is not the exception — it is the condition of the people. In this fairest 
and richest of countries, men are suffering and starving by millions. 
There are thousands of them, at this minute, stretched in the sunshine 
at their cabin doors with no work, scarcely any food, no hope seem- 
ingly. Strong countrymen are lying in bed, ' for the hunger' — because 
a man lying on his back does not need so much food as a persim 
afoot. Many of them have torn up the unripe potatoes from their little 
gardens, and to exist now must look to winter, when they shall have 
to suffer starvation and cold too." — TJiackeray. 

"Everywhere," said the Quarterly Review, "throughout all parts, 
even in the best towns, and in Dublin itself, you will meet men and 
boys — not dressed, not covered — but hung round with a collection of 
rags of unrivalled variety, squalidity, and filth — walking dunghills. 
* * * $jg one ever saw an English scarecrow with such rags." 

The difference in the condition of these poor people and that of 
the slave — even the slave of Jamaica at that day — consisted in 
this, that the negro slave was worth buying, whereas the others 
were not; and we know well that the man who pays a good price 
for a commodity, attaches to it a value that induces him to give 
some care to its preservation; whereas he cares nothing for an- 
other that he finds himself forced to accept. " Starving by mil- 
lions," as they are here described, death was perpetually separating 
husbands and wives, parents and children, while to the survivors 
remained no hope but that of being enabled at some time or other 
to fly to another land in which they might be permitted to sell their 
labour for food sufficient to support life. 

The existence of such a state of things was, said the advocates 

of the system which looks to converting all the world outside of 

England into one great farm, to be accounted for by the fact that 

the population was too numerous for the land, and yet a third of 

the surface, including the richest lands in the kingdom, was lying 

unoccupied and waste. 

"Of single counties," said an English writer, " Mayo, with a popu- 
lation of 389,000, and a rental of only £300,000, has an area of 


1,304.000 acres, of which 800,000 are waste ! No less than 470,000 
acres, being very nearly equal to the -whole extent of surface now 
under cultivation, are declared to be reclaimable. Galway, with a 
population of 423,00(1, and a valur-d rental of £433,000, has' upward 
of 700,000 acres of waste, 410,000 of which are reclaimable ! Kerry, 
with a population of "203,000, has an area of 1,180,000 acres— 727, SOG 
being waste, and 400,000 of them reclaimable ! Even the Union of 
Glenties, Lord Monteagle's ne plus ultra of redundant population, has 
an area of 245,000 acres, of which 200,000 are waste, and for the 
most part reclaimable, to its population of 43,000. While the Barony 
of Ennis, that abomination of desolation, has 230,000 acres of land 
to its 5000 paupers — a proportion which, as Mr. Carter, one of the 
principal proprietors, remarks in his circular advertisement for te- 
nants, 'is at the rate of only one family to 230 acres; so that if but 
one head of a family were employed to every 230 acres, there need 
not be a single pauper in the entire district; a proof,' he adds, 'that 


In which opinion we fully coincide." 

Xothing but emplo}'ment was needed, but that could not be 
found under the system which has caused the annihilation of 
the cotton manufacture of India, notwithstanding the advantage 
of having the cotton on the spot, free from all cost for carriage. 
As in Jamaica, and as in India, the land had been gradually ex- 
hausted by the exportation of its products in their rudest state, 
and the country had thus been drained of capital, a necessary con- 
sequence of which was that the labour even of men found no 
demand, while women and children starved, that the women and 
children of England might spin cotton and weave cloth that Ire- 
land was too poor to purchase. Bad, however, as was all this, a 
worse state of things was at hand. Poverty and wretchedness 
compelled the wretched people to fly in thousands and tens of 
thousands across the Channel, thus following the capital and the 
soil that had been transferred to Birmingham and Manchester; 
and the streets and cellars of those towns, and those of London, 
Liverpool, and Glasgow, were filled with men, women, and chil- 
dren in a state almost of starvation; while throughout the country, 
men were offering to perform the farm labour for food alone, and 
a cry had arisen among the people of England that the labourers 
were likely to be swamped by these starving Irishmen : to provide 
against which it was needed that the landlords of Ireland should 
be compelled to support their own poor, and forthwith an act of 


Parliament was passed for that purpose. Thence arose, of course, 
an increased desire to rid the country of the men, women, and 
children whose labour could not be sold, and who could therefore 
pay no rent. The "Crowbar Brigade" was therefore called into 
more active service, as will be seen by the following account of 
their labours in a single one of the " Unions" established under 
the new poor-law system, which in many cases took the whole rent 
of the land for the maintenance of those who had been reduced 
to pauperism by the determination of the people of Manchester 
and Birmingham to continue the colonial system under which Ire- 
land had been ruined. 

" In Galway Union, recent accounts declared the number of poor 
evicted, and their homes levelled within the last two years, to equal 
the numbers in Kilrush — 4000 families and 20,000 human beings are 
said to have been here also thrown upon the road, houseless and 
homeless. I can readily believe the statement, for to me some parts 
of the country appeared like an enormous graveyard— the numerous 
gables of the unroofed dwellings seemed to be gigantic tombstones. 
They were, indeed, records of decay and death far more melancholy 
than the grave can show. Looking on them, the doubt rose in my 
mind, am I in a civilized country ? Have we really a free constitu- 
tion ? Can such scenes be paralleled in Siberia or Caffraria V 

A single case described in a paper recently published by Mr. 
Dickens in his " Household Words," will convey to the reader some 
idea of an eviction, that may be taken as a specimen, and perhaps 
a fair one, of the fifty thousand evictions that took place in the 
single year 1849, and of the hundreds of thousands that have taken 
place in the last six years. 

"Black piles of peat stood on the solitary ground, ready after a sum- 
mer's cutting and drying. Presently, patches of cultivation presented 
themselves ; plots of ground raised on beds, each a few feet wide, with 
intervening trenches to carry off the boggy water, where potatoes had 
grown, and small fields where grew more ragwort than grass, enclosed 
by banks cast up and tipped here and there with a brier or a stone. It 
was the husbandry of misery and indigence. The ground had already 
been freshly manured by sea-weeds, but the village, where was it ? 
Blotches of burnt-ground, scorched heaps of rubbish, and fragments of 
blackened walls, alone were visible. Garden plots were trodden down 
and their few bushes rent up, or hung with tatters of rags. The two 
horsemen, as they hurried by, with gloomy visages, uttered no more 
than the single word — Eviction l" 

The scenes that had taken place at the destruction of that village, 


are thus described to the author of the sad work, by a poor ser- 
vant : — 

"Oh. bless your honour! If you had seen that poor frantic woman 
when the back of the cabin fell and buried her infant, where she thought 
she had laid it safe for a moment while she flew to part her husband 
and a soldier who had struck the other children with the flat of his 
sword and bade them troop off. Oh, but your honour it was a killing 
sight ! * * * I could not help thinking of the poor people at Rathbeg 
when the soldiers and police cried, ' Down with them ! down with them 
even to the ground!' — and then the poor little cabins came down all in 
lire and smoke, amid the howls and cries of the poor creatures. Oh, 
it was a fearful sight, your honour — it was indeed — to see the poor 
women hugging their babies, and the houses where they were born 
burning in the wind. It was dreadful to see the old bed-ridden man 
lie on the ground among the few bits of furniture, and groan to his 
gracious God above ! Oh, your honour, you never saw such a sight, or 
— you — sure a — it would never have been done." 

This is certainly an awful picture of the slavery resulting frflfci 
compelling a whole natiou to devote itself to agriculture, and thus 
annihilating the power of association — from compelling a whole 
people to forego all the advantages resulting from proximity to 
market for the sale of their products or the purchase of manure — 
and from compelling men, women, and children to be idle, when they 
would desire to be employed. In reading it, we are forcibly re- 
minded of the razzias of the little African kings, who, anxious for 
a fresh supply of slaves, collect their troops together and invade 
the neighbouring territories, where they enact scenes correspond- 
ing exactly with the one here described. In Africa, however, the 
slave is fed by those who have burned and destroyed his house and 
his farm; but in Ireland, as labour is valueless, he is turned into 
the roads or the grave-yards to die of famine, or of pestilence. 
And yet, even now, the Times asks the question — 

" How are the people to be fed and employed? That is the question 
which still baffles an age that can transmit a message round the world 
in a moment of time, and point out the locality of a planet never 
yet seen. There is the question which founders both the bold and the 

Up to this time there had been repeated cases of partial famine, 
but now the nation was startled by the news of the almost total 
failure of the crop of potatoes, the single description of food upon 



which the people of Ireland had been reduced to depend. Constant 
cropping of the soil, returning to it none of the manure, because of 
the necessity for exporting almost the whole of its products, had 
produced disease in the vegetable world — precisely as the want of 
proper nourishment produces it in the animal world — and now a 
cry of famine rang throughout the land. The poor-houses were 
everywhere filled, while the roads, and the streets, and the grave- 
yards were occupied by the starving and the naked, the dying and 
the dead; and the presses of England were filled with denunciations 
of English and Irish landholders, who desired to make food dear, 
while men, women, and children were perishing by hundreds of 
thousands for want of food. Thus far, Ireland had been pro- 
tected in the market of England, as some small compensation for 
tj^e sacrifice she had made of her manufacturing interests ; but now, 
small as has been the boon, it was to be withdrawn, precisely as 
we see to have been the case with the poor people of Jamaica. 
Like them, the Irish had become poor, and their trade had ceased 
to be of value, although but seventy years before they had been 
England's lest customers. The system had exhausted all the fo- 
reign countries with which England had been permitted to maintain 
what is denominated free trade — India, Portugal, Turkey, the 
West Indies, and Ireland herself — and it had become necessary to 
make an effort to obtain markets in the only prosperous countries 
of the world, those which had to a greater or less extent placed the 
consumer by the side of the producer, to wit — this country, 
France, Belgium, Germany, and Russia — and the mode of accom- 
plishing this was that of offering them the same freedom of trade 
in food by which Ireland had been ruined. The farmers were 
everywhere invited to exhaust their soil by sending its products to 
England to be consumed; and the corn-laws were repealed for the 
purpose of enabling them to impoverish themselves by entering 
into competition with the starving Irishman, who was thus at once 
deprived of the market of England, as by the Act of Union he had 
been deprived of his own. The cup of wretchedness was before 
well nigh full, but it was now filled. The price of food fell, and 
the labourer was ruined, for the whole product of his land would 


scarcely pay his rent. The landlord was ruined, for he could col- 
lect no rents, and he was at the same time liable for the payment 
of enormous taxes for the maintenance of his poor neighbours. 
His land was encumbered with mortgages and settlements, created 
when food was high, and he could pay no interest; and now a law 
was passed, by aid of which property could be summarily disposed 
of at public sale, and the proceeds distributed among those who 
had legal claims upon it. The landholder of Jamaica, exhausted by 
the system, had had his property taken from him at a price fixed by 
Parliament, and the proceeds applied to the discharge of debts in- 
curred to his English agents, and now the same Parliament pro- 
vided for the transfer of Irish property with a view to the payment 
of the same class of debts. The impoverished landholder now ex- 
perienced the same fate that had befallen his poor tenant, and from 
that date to this, famine and pestilence, levellings and evictions, 
have been the order of the day. Their effect has everywhere been 
to drive the poor people from the land, and its consequences are 
seen in the fact that the population numbered, in 1850, one million 
six hundred and fifty -nine thousand less than it did in 1840; while 
the starving population of the towns had largely increased. The 
county of Cork had diminished 222,000, while Dublin had grown 
in numbers 22,000. Galway had lost 125,000, while the city had 
gained 7122. Connaught had lost 411,000, while Limerick and 
Belfast had gained 30,000. The number of inhabited houses had 
fallen from 1,328,000 to 1,017,000, or more than twenty per cent. 
Announcing these startling facts, the London Times stated that 
"for a whole generation man had been a drug in Ireland, and 
population a nuisance." The " inexhaustible Irish supply had/' 
as it continued, "kept down the price of English labour," but this 
cheapness of labour had " contributed vastly to the improvement 
and power" of England, and largely to "the enjoyment of those 
who had money to spend." Now, however, a change appeared to 
be at hand, and it was to be feared that the prosperity of England, 
based as it had been on cheap Irish labour, might be interfered 
with, as famine and pestilence, evictions and emigration, were thin- 
ning out the Celts who had so long, as it is said, been " hewers 


of wood and drawers of water for the Saxon." Another of 
the advocates of the system which has exhausted and ruined Ire- 
land, and is now transferring its land to the men who have en- 
riched themselves by acting as middlemen between the producers 
and consumers of the world, rejoicing in the great number of those 
who had fled from their native soil to escape the horrors of starva- 
tion and pestilence, declares that this is to be regarded as the joyful 
side of the case. " What," it asks, 

"Will follow? This great good, among others — that tlie stagnant 
weight of unemployed population in these insulated realms is never 
likely again to accumulate to the dangerous amount which there was 
sometimes cause to apprehend that, from unforeseen revulsions in in- 
dustry or foreign trade, it might have done. A natural vent is now so 
thoroughly opened, and so certain to grow wider and clearer every day, 
that the overflow will pass off whenever a moderate degree of pressure 
recurs. Population, skill, and capital, also, will no longer wait in 
consternation till they are half spent with watching and fear. The 
way is ready. They will silently shift their quarters when the compe- 
tition or depression here becomes uncomfortable. Every family has 
already friends or acquaintances who have gone before them over sea. 
Socially, our insulation as a people is proved, by the census of 1851, 
to be at an end." — Daily News. 

The Times, too, rejoices in the prospect that the resources of 
Ireland will now probably be developed, as the Saxon takes the 
place of the Celt, who has so long hewn the wood and drawn the 
water for his Saxon masters. " Prosperity and happiness may," 
as it thinks, 

"Some day reign over that beautiful island. Its fertile soil, its 
rivers and lakes, its water-power, its minerals, and other materials for 
the wants and luxuries of man, may one day be developed ; but all ap- 
pearances are against the belief that this will ever happen in the days 
of the Celt. That tribe will soon fulfil the great law of Providence 
which seems to enjoin and reward the union of races. It will mix 
with the Anglo-American, and be known no more as a jealous and 
separate people. Its present place will be occupied by the more mixed, 
more docile, and more serviceable race, which has long borne the yoke 
of sturdy industry in this island, which can submit to a master and 
obey the law. This is no longer a dream, for it is a fact now in pro- 
gress, and every day more apparent/' 

Commenting upon the view thus presented, an American jour- 
nalist most truly says — 

" There is a cold-blooded atrocity in the spirit of these remarks for 


which examples will be sought in vnin, except among the doctors of 
the free-trade school. Naturalists have learned to look with philo- 
sophical indifference upon the agonies of a rabbit or a mouse expiring 
in an exhausted receiver, but it requires long teaching from the econo- 
mists before men's hearts can be so steeled, that after pumping out all 
the sustenance of vitality from one of the fairest islands under the 
sun, they can discourse calmly upon its depopulation as proof of the 
success of the experiment, can talk with bitter irony of 'that stranye 
region of the earth where such a people, affectionate and hopeful, ge- 
nial and witty, industrious and independent, was produced and could 
not stay, 7 and can gloat in the anticipation that prosperity and happi- 
ness may some day reign over that beautiful island, and its boundless 
resources for the wants and luxuries of man be developed, not for the 
Celt, but • for a more mixed, more docile, and more serviceable race, 
which can submit to a master and obey the law/ ;; — Albany Journal. 

The Times rejoices that the place of the Celt is in future to be 
occupied by cattle, as sheep already occupy the place of the High- 
lander expelled from the laud in which, before Britain undertook 
to underwork all other nations and thus secure a monopoly for "the 
workshop of the world," his fathers were as secure in their rights 
as was the landowner himself. Irish journals take a different 
view of the prospect. They deprecate the idea of the total expul- 
sion of the native race, and yet they fear that 

" There is no doubt that in a few years more, if some stop is not 
put to the present outpouring of the people to America, and latterly to 
Australia, there will not be a million of the present race of inhabit- 
ants to be found within the compass of the four provinces." 

" No thoughts of the land of their birth/-' it continues, " seems to 
enter their minds, although the Irish people have been proverbial for 
their attachment to their country." — Connaught Western Star. 

A recent journal informs us that 

" The Galway papers are full of the most deplorable accounts of 
wholesale evictions, or rather exterminations, in that miserable coun- 
try. The tenantry are turned out of the cottages by scores at a time. 
As many as 203 men, women, and children have been driven upon the 
roads and ditches by way of one day's work, and have now no resource 
but to beg their bread in desolate places, or to bury their griefs, in 
ruanv instances for ever, within the walls of the Union workhouse. 
Land agents direct the operation. The work is done by a large force 
of police and soldiery. Under the protection of the latter, ' the Crow- 
bar Brigade' advances to the devoted township, takes possession of the 
houses, such as they are, and, with a few turns of the crowbar and a 
few pulls at a rope, bring down the roof, and leave nothing but a 
tottering chimney, if even that. The sun that rose on a village sets 
on a desert ; the police return to their barracks, and the people are 


nowhere to he found, or are vainly watching from some friendly covert 
for the chance of crouching once more under their ruined homes. 

"What to the Irish heart is more painful than even the large 
amount and stern method of the destruction, is that the authors this 
time are Saxon strangers. It is a wealthy London company that is 
invading the quiet retreats of Connemara, and robbing a primitive 
peasantry of its last hold on the earth. The Law Life Assurance 
Company having advanced, we believe, £240,000 on the Martin 
estates, has now become the purchaser under the Encumbered Estates 
Acts, and is adopting these summary but usual measures to secure 
the forfeited pledge. That gentlemen, many of whom have never set 
foot in Ireland, and who are wealthy enough to lend a quarter of a 
million of money, should exact the last penny from a wretched pea- 
santry who had no hand or voice in the transaction which gave 
them new masters, seems utterly intolerable to the native Irish 

With the growth of the value of land, man has always become 
free. Y\ 7 ith the decline in its value, man has always become en- 
slaved. If we desire to find the cause of the enormous destruc- 
tion of life in Ireland, even in this day of boasted civilization — if 
we desire to find the cause of the eviction of tenant and landlord, 
and the decline in the value of land, we need scarcely look beyond 
the following paragraph : — 

" The cotton manufacture of Dublin, which employed 14,000 opera- 
tives, has been destroyed : the 3400 silk-looms of the Liberty have 
been destroyed ; the stuff and serge manufacture, which employed 
1491 operatives, have been destroyed ; the calico-looms of Balbriggan 
have been destroyed ; the flannel manufacture of liathdrum has been 
destroyed ; the blanket manufacture of Kilkenny has been destroyed ; 
the camlet trade of Bandon, which produced £100,000 a year, has 
been destroyed ; the worsted and stuff manufactures of Waterford 
have been destroyed ; the rateen and frieze manufactures of Carrick- 
on-Suir have been destroyed. One business alone survives ! One 
business alone thrives and flourishes, and dreads no bankruptcy! 
That fortunate business — which the Union Act has not struck down, 
but which the Union Act has stood b} 7 — which the absentee drain has 
nut slackened, but has stimulated — which the drainage Acts and 
navigation laws of the Imperial Senate have not deadened but invigo- 
rated — that favoured, and privileged, and patronized business is the 
Irish coffin-maker's."* 

To the separation of the consumer from the producer resulting 
from the adoption of the system which has for its object the esta- 

?peech of Mr. T. F. Meagher, 1847. 


blishment of a monopoly of the machinery of manufacture for the 
"world, are due the exhaustion of Ireland, the ruin of its landhold- 
ers, the starvation of its people, and the degradation in the eyes 
of the world of the country which has furnished to the continent 
its best soldiers, and to the empire not only its most industrious 
and intelligent labourers, but also its Burke, its Grattan, its Sheri- 
dan, and its Wellington. And yet we find the Times rejoicing at 
the gradual disappearance of the native population, and finding in 

"The abstraction of the Celtic race at the rate of a quarter of a 
million a year, a surer remedy for the inveterate Irish disease, than any 
human -wit could have imagined." 

The " inveterate Irish disease" here spoken of is a total ab- 
sence of demand for labour, resulting from the unhappy determi- 
nation of the people of England to maintain the monopoly of the 
power to manufacture for the world. The sure remedy for this is 
found in famines, pestilences, and expatriation, the necessary re- 
sults of the exhaustion of the land which follows the exportation 
of its raw products. A stronger confirmation of the destructive 
character of such a course of policy than is contained in the fol- 
lowing paragraph could scarcely be imagined : — 

"When the Celt has crossed the Atlantic, he begins for the first 
time in his life to consume the manufactures of this country, and 
indirectly to contribute to its customs. We may possibly live to see 
the day when the chief product of Ireland will be cattle, and English 
and Scotch the majority of her population. The nine or ten millions 
of Irish, who by that time will have settled in the United States, can- 
not be less friendly to England, and will certainly be much better 
customers to her than they now are." — London Times. 

When the Celt leaves Ireland he leaves an almost purely agri- 
cultural country, and in such countries man generally approaches 
nearly to the condition of a slave. When he comes here he comes 
to a country in which to some little extent the plough and the loom 
have been enabled to come together ; and here he becomes a free- 
man and a customer of England. 

The nation that commences by exporting raw products must end 
by exporting men ; and if we desire evidence of this, we need only 


look to the following figures, furnished by the last four censuses of 
Ireland : — 

1821 6,801,827 

1831 7,767,401— Increase, 965,574 

1841 8,175,124— Increase, 407,723 

1851 6,515,794— Decrease, 1,659,330 

To what causes may this extraordinary course of events be at- 
tributed ? Certainly not to any deficiency of land, for nearly one- 
third of the whole surface, including millions of acres of the rich- 
est soils of the kingdom, remains in a state of nature. Not to 
original inferiority of the soil in cultivation, for it has been con- 
fessedly among the richest in the empire. Not to a deficiency of 
mineral ores or fuel, for coal abounds, and iron ores of the richest 
kind, as well as those of other metals, exist in vast profusion. 
Not to any deficiency in the physical qualities of the Irishman, for 
it is an established fact that he is capable of performing far more 
labour than the Englishman, the Frenchman, or the Belgian. 
Not to a deficiency of intellectual ability, for Ireland has given to 
England her most distinguished soldiers and statesmen ; and we 
have in this country everywhere evidence that the Irishman is 
capable of the highest degree of intellectual improvement. Never- 
theless, while possessed of every advantage that nature could give 
him, we find the Irishman at home a slave to the severest task- 
masters, and reduced to a condition of poverty and distress such 
as is exhibited in no other portion of the civilized world. No 
choice is now left him but between expatriation and starvation, 
and therefore it is that we see him everywhere abandoning 
the home of his fathers, to seek elsewhere that subsistence which 
Ireland, rich as she is in soil and in her minerals, in her naviga- 
ble rivers, and in her facilities of communication with the world, 
can no longer afford him. 

That the process of eviction is still continued on an extensive 
scale is shown by the following extracts from Sir Francis Head's 
work on Ireland, just issued from the press : — 

" Here almost immediately I first met with that afflicting spectacle, 
or rather spectre, that almost without intermission haunted me through 


the whole remainder of my tour, namely, stout stone-built cabins, un- 
roofed for the purpose of evicting therefrom their insolvent tenants." — 
P. 110. 

"On conversing with the master, I ascertained from him that Lord 
Lucan's evictions have ceased, but that Lord Erne evicted on Saturday 
last."*— P. 115. 

"'Is this system of eviction/ said I to the driver, pointing to a 
small cluster of unroofed cabins we were passing at the moment, 'good 
or bad?' 'Well! yere Arn'r!' he replied, ' ut's good and ut's bad. 
Ut's good for them that hould large lands, bad for the small. Ut laves 
nothing for tham but the workhouse/" — P. 121. 

The tendency of the system which looks to the exportation of 
raw produce and the exhaustion of the soil is always toward the 
consolidation of the land, because the exportation of population 
whether from Ireland, India, or Virginia, always follows in the 
wake of the exportation of food and other raw commodities. 

" Among the men were only four that could fairly be called ' able- 
bodied •/ each of them told me he had been evicted by Lord Lucan. I 
asked the master what had become of the rest. His answer was very 
instructive. ' Most of them/ said he, ' if they can scrape up half-a- 
crown, go to England, from whence, after some little time, they send 
from 2s. 6d. to 10s. and, as soon as their families get that, they are off 
to them.' 

"'Does the father go first?' I thoughtlessly asked. 

" 'Oh, no ! we keep him to the last. One daughter went off to Eng- 
land from here a short time ago, and sent 7s. 6d. That took out the 
mother and another sister. In a few weeks the mother and sister sent 
enough to get over the remaining two sons and the father. Total of 
the family, 6/ "—P. 127. . 

In the above passage we have the equivalent of the exportation of 
the negro from the Northern Slave States. Husbands and wives, 
parents arid children, are forced to fly from each other, never to 

• The following paragraph from an Irish journal exhibits strikingly the 
amount of political freedom exercised at the scene of these evictions : — - 

" Lord Erne held his annual show in Ballindreat, on Monday, the 25th ult., and 
after having delivered himself much as usual in regard to agricultural matters, he 
proceeded to lecture the assembled tenants on the necessity of implicit obedience 
to those who were placed over them, in reference not only to practical agricul- 
ture, but the elective franchise. To such of the tenants as his lordship considered 
to be of the right stamp, and who proved themselves so by voting for Sir Edmund 
Hayes and Thomas Connolly, Esq., the 15 per cent, in full would be allowed — to 
those who split their votes between one or other of these gentlemen and Camp- 
bell Johnston, Esq., 7£ per cent. ; but to the men who had the manliness to 
' plump' for Johnston, no reduction of rents would be allowed this year or any 
other until such parties might redeem their character at another election." — Cork 
Examiner, Xov. 8, 1352. 



meet again unless those who emigrate can save means to send for 
those who are left behind. 

" We -were now joined by the head-steward — a sedate, highly intelli- 
gent, respectable-looking Scotchman, who has been in Ireland thirteen 
years. He told me that the number of persons that had been ejected 
was about 10,000, of whom one-tenth were employed by Lord Lucan, 
who had given most of them cottages." 

" We passed a cabin, and, closing my umbrella and leaving it on 
the car, I walked in. 

" ' Will yere Arn'r take a sate V said a woman about thirty-eight, 
with a fine, open countenance, her eyes being listlessly fixed on the 

"I sat down. On her lap was an infant. Three bare-footed chil- 
dren, as if hatching eggs, sat motionless on the edge of a peat fire, 
which appeared to be almost touching their naked toes ; above the 
embers was demurely hanging a black pot. Opposite sat, like a bit 
of gnarled oak, the withered grandmother. The furniture was com- 
posed of a dingy-coloured wooden wardrobe, with a few plates on the 
top, and one bed close to the fire. There was no chimney but the 
door, on the threshold of which stood, looking exceedingly unhappy, 
four dripping wet fowls ; at the far end of the chamber was a regular 
dungheap, on which stood an ass. 

" ' Where is your husband, my good woman?' I said to the young- 
est of the women. 

" ' In England, yere Arn'r,' she replied, ' saking work/ " — P. 132. 

'' Seeking work I" and yet Ireland abounds in the richest land 
uncultivated, and mineral wealth untouched, because the system 
forbids that men should combine their efforts together for the im- 
provement of their common condition. 

" After trotting on for about a mile, and after I had left Lord 
Lucan's property, I came as usual to a small village of unroofed 
cabins, from the stark walls of which, to my astonishment, I saw here 
and there proceeding a little smoke ; and, on approaching it, I beheld 
a picture I shall not readily forget. The tenants had been all evicted, 
and yet, dreadful to say, they were there still ! the children nestling, 
and the poor women huddling together, under a temporary lean-to of 
straw, which they had managed to stick into the interstices of the 
walls of their ancient homes. 

" ' This is a quare place, yere Arn'r '/ said a fine, honest-looking 
woman, kindly smiling to me, adding, ' Sit down, yere Arn'r I* 

" One of her four children got up and offered me his stool. 

" Under another temporary shed I found a tall woman heavy with 
child, a daughter about sixteen, and four younger children — her hus- 
band was also in England, ' sakin work/ I entered two or three 
more of these wretched habitations, around which were the innumera- 
ble tiny fields, surrounded by those low tottering stone walls I have 
already described. - * * * — P. 136. 


" They were really good people, and from what I read in their 
countenances, I feel confident, that if, instead of distributing among 
them a few shillings, I had asked them to feed me, with the kindest 
hospitality they would readily have done so, and that with my gold in 
in my pocket I might have slept among them in the most perfect 

" The devotional expressions of the lower class of Irish, and the 
meekness and resignation with which they bear misfortune or afflic- 
tion, struck me very forcibly. ' I haven't aten a bit this blessed day, 
glory be to God !' said on£ woman. ' Troth, I've been suffering 
lhong-time from poverty and sickness, glory be to God !' said another. 
On entering a strange cabin, the common salutation is, 'God save all 
here !' On passing a gang of comrades at labour, a man often says, 
* God bless the work, boys !' — P. 137. 

The extirpation of the people results necessarily in the decay 
of the towns, as is here shown : — 

"When my bill came, — for one's bill at an inn, like death, is sure 
to come, — I asked the waiter what effect the evictions in the neigh- 
bourhood had had on the town. 

" ' They have ruined it/ he replied ; ' the poor used to support the 
rich ; now that the poor are gone the rich shopkeepers are all failing. 
Our town is full of empty shops, and, after all, the landlord himself 
is now being ruined !' " — P. 147. 

Cheap labour and cheap land are always companions. In Ja- 
maica and India, land, as we have seen, is almost valueless. How 
it is in Ireland may be seen by the following passage : — 

" Adjoining is a similar property of about 10,000 acres, purchased, 
I was informed, by Captain Houston, a short time ago, at the rate of 
l\d. an acre."— P. 153. 

In a paper recently read before the statistical section of the Bri- 
tish Association, it is shown that the estates recently purchased 
in Ireland by English capital embraced 403,065 acres, and that 
the purchase money had been £1,095,000, or about £2 Ids. 
(S13.20) per acre, being little more than is paid- for farms with 
very moderate improvements in the new States of the Mississippi 

"Why land is cheap and labour badly rewarded may easily be 
seen on a perusal of the following passages: — 

" ' Chickuns are about 5d. a couple, dooks lOd. A couple of young 
gaise lOtZ. ; when auld, not less than 1.?. or 1M.' 
" ' And turkeys ?' I asked. 
" 'I can't say ; we haven't many of thim in the counthry, and I don't 


want to tell yere Arn'r a lie. Fish, little or nothing. A large 
turbot, of 30 lbs. weight, for 3s. Lobsters, a dozen for 4c?. Soles, 2d. 
or 3c7. a piece. T'other day I bought a turbot, of 15 lbs. weight, for 
a gentleman, and I paid 18c?. for ut.' ** — P. 178. 

" ' What do you pay for your tea and sugar here V I inquired. 

" 'Very dare, sir/ he replied. 'We pay 5s. for tea, 5c?. for brown 
sugar, and 8c?. for white ; that is, if we buy a single pound/ " — P. 187. 

The sugar of the labourer of Jamaica exchanges in Manchester 
for three shillings, of which he revives perhaps one, and he 
perishes because of the difficulty of obtaining machinery or cloth- 
ing. The Hindoo sells his cotton for a penny a pound, and buys 
it back in the form of cloth at eighteen or twenty pence. 
The Virginia negro raises tobacco which exchanges for six shil- 
lings' worth of commodities, of which he and his owner obtain 
three pence. The poor Irishman raises chickens which sell in 
London for shillings, of which he receives pence, and thus a 
pound of sugar which had yielded the free negro of Jamaica 
two pence, exchanges in the West of Ireland for a pair of chick- 
ens or a dozen lobsters. The reader who may study these facts 
will readily understand the destructive effects on the value of 
land and labour resulting from the absence of markets, such as 
arise naturally where the plough and the loom are permitted, in 
accordance with the doctrines of Adam Smith, to take their places 
by the side of each other. More than seventy years since he de- 
nounced the system which looked to compelling the exports of raw 
produce as one productive of infinite injustice, and certainly the 
histories of Jamaica and Virginia, Ireland and India, since his 
time, would afford him, were he now present, little reason for a 
change of opinion. 

It is common to ascribe the state of things now existing in Ire- 
land to the rapid growth of population ; and that in its turn is 
charged to the account of the potato, the excessive use of which, 
as Mr. McCulloch informs his readers, has lowered the standard of 
living and tended to the multiplication of men, women, and chil- 
dren. "The peasantry of L*eland live/' as he says, "in miserable 
mud cabins, without either a window or a chimney, or any thing 
that can be called furniture," and are distinguished from their fel- 


low labourers across the Channel by their " filth and misery," and 
hence it is, in his opinion, that they work for low wages. We have 
here effect substituted for cause. The absence of demand for 
labour causes wages to be low, and those wages will procure nothing 
but mud cabins and potatoes. It is admitted everywhere through- 
out the continent of Europe that the introduction of the potato has 
tended greatly to the improvement of the condition of the people ; 
but then, there is no portion of the continent in which it is used, 
where it constitutes an essential part of the governmental policy to 
deprive millions of people of all mode of employment except agri- 
culture, and thus placing those millions at such a distance from 
market that the chief part of their labour and its products is lost 
in the effort to reach that market, and their land is exhausted be- 
cause of the impossibility of returning to the soil any portion of 
the crop yielded by it. Commercial centralization produces all 
these effects. It looks to the destruction of the value of labour 
and land, and to the enslavement of man. It tends to the division 
of the whole population into two classes, separated by an impass- 
able gulf — the mere labourer and the land-owner. It tends to the 
destruction of the power of association for any purpose of improve- 
ment, whether by the making of roads or by the founding of 
schools, and of course to the prevention of the growth of towns, as 
we see to have been the case with Jamaica, so barbarous in this re- 
spect when compared with Martinique or Cuba, islands whose go- 
vernments have not looked to the perpetual divorce of the hammer 
and the harrow. The decay of towns in Ireland, subsequent to the 
Union, led to absenteeism, and thus added to the exhaustion of the 
land, because Irish wheat was now needed to pay not only for 
English cloth but for English services; and the more the central- 
ization resulting from absenteeism, the greater necessarily was the 
difficulty of maintaining the productive powers of the soil. Mr. 
McCulloch, however, assures his readers that "it is not easy to 
imagine any grounds for pronouncing the expenditure of the rent 
at home " more beneficial" to the country than if it had been ex- 
pended abroad. (^Principles, 157 .) Another distinguished political 

economist says — 



"Many persons, also, perplexed by the consideration that all the 
commodities which are exported as remittances of the absentee's in- 
come are exports for which no return is obtained; that they are as 
much lost to this country as if they were a tribute paid to a foreign 
state, or even as if they were periodically thrown into the sea. This 
is unquestionably true ; but it must be recollected that whatever is 
unproductively consumed, is, by the very terms of the proposition, 
destroyed, without producing any return." — Senior's Political Eco- 
nomy, 160. 

This view is, as the reader will see, based upon the idea of the 
total destruction of the commodities consumed. Were it even cor- 
rect, it would still follow that there had been transferred from 
Ireland to England a demand for services of a thousand kinds, 
tending to cause a rise in the price of labour in the one and a fall in 
the other; — but if it were altogether incorrect, it would then follow, 
necessarily $ that the loss to the country would be as great as if the 
remittances were " a tribute paid to a foreign state, or even as if 
they were periodically thrown into the sea/' That it is altogether 
incorrect the reader ma}^ readily satisfy himself. Man consumes 
much, but be destroys nothing. In eating food he is merely acting 
as a machine for preparing the elements of which it is composed 
for future production; and the more he can takeout of the land the 
more he can return to it, and the more rapid will be the improve- 
ment in the productive power of the soil. If the market be at 
hand, be can take hundreds of bushels of turnips, carrots, or pota- 
toes, or tons of bay, from an acre of land, and he can vary the cha- 
racter of his culture from year to year, and the more he borrows 
from the great bank the more he can repay to it, the more he can 
improve his mind and his cultivation, and the more readily he can 
exchange for improved machinery by aid of which to obtain still 
increased returns. If, however, the market be distant, he must 
raise only those things that will bear carriage, and which from their 
small yield command a high price, and thus is he limited in his 
cultivation, and the more he is limited the more rapidly he exhausts 
his land, the less is his power to obtain roads, to have association 
with his fellow-men, to obtain books, to improve his mode of 
thought, to make roads, or to purchase machinery. Such is the 
case even when'he is compelled to sell and buy in distant markets, 


but still worse is it when, as iu the case of the rent of the absentee, 
nothing is returned to the land, for then production diminishes 
without a corresponding diminution of the rent, and the poor culti- 
vator is more and more thrown upon the mercy of the land-owner 
or his agent, and becomes, as we see to have been the case in Ja- 
maica and India, practically a slave. This state of things has 
in all countries been followed by a diminution of population result- 
ing from starvation or from exportation ; and hence it is that we 
see the destruction of life in Ireland, India, and the West Indies, 
while from the two former vast numbers are annually exported, 
many of them to perish in the new countries to which they are 
driven. Out of 99,000 that left Ireland for Canada in a single 
year, no loss than 13,000 perished on shipboard, and thousands 
died afterward of disease, starvation, and neglect; and thus it is 
that we have the horrors of " the middle passage" repeated in our 
day. It is the slave trade of the last century reproduced on a 
grander scale and on a new theatre of action. 

We are told of the principle of population that men increase 
faster than food, and, for evidence that such must always be the 
case, are pointed to the fact that when men are few in number 
they always cultivate the rich soils, and then food is abundant, 
but as population increases they are forced to resort to the poor 
soils, and then food becomes scarce. That the contrary of all this 
is the fact is shown by the history of England, France, Italy, 
Greece, India, and every other nation of the world, and is proved 
in our own day by all that is at this moment being done in this 
country. It is proved by the fact that Ireland possesses millions 
of acres of the most fertile soil remaining in a state of nature, 
and so likely to remain until she shall have markets for their pro- 
duce that will enable their owners readily to exchange turnips, po- 
tatoes, cabbages, and hay, for cloth, machinery, and manure. 

It is singular that all the political economists of England should 
so entirely have overlooked the fact that man is a mere borrower 
from the earth, and that when he does not pay his debts, she does as 
do all other creditors, that is, she expels him from his holding. 
England makes of her soil a grand reservoir for the waste yielded 


by all the sugar, coffee, wool, indigo, cotton and other raw commo- 
dities of almost half the world, and thus does she raise a crop that 
has been valued at five hundred millions of dollars, or five times 
more than the average value of the cotton crop produced by so 
many millions of people in this country; and yet so important is 
manure that she imports in a single year more than two hundred 
thousand tons of guano, at a cost of almost two millions of pounds, 
and thus does she make labour productive and land valuable. 
Nevertheless, her writers teach other nations that the true mode of 
becoming rich is to exhaust the land by sending from it all its 
products in their rudest state, and then, when the people of Ireland 
attempt to follow the soil which they have sent to England; the 
people of the latter are told by Mr. McCulloch that 

" The unexampled misery of the Irish people is directly owing to 
the excessive augmentation of their numbers ; and nothing can be more 
perfectly futile than to expect any real or lasting amendment of their 
situation until an effectual check has been given to the progress of 
population. It is obvious too," he continues, "that the low and de- 
graded condition into which the people of Ireland are now sunk is the 
condition to which every people must be reduced whose numbers con- 
tinue, for any considerable period, to increase faster than the means 
of providing for their comfortable and decent subsistence/' — Princi- 
ples, 383. 

The population of Ireland did increase with some rapidity, and 
the reason for this was to be found in the fact that poverty had not 
yet produced that demoralization which restricts the growth of num- 
bers. The extraordinary morality of the women of Ireland is ad- 
mitted everywhere. In England it is remarked upon by poor-law 
commissioners, and here it is a fact that cannot fail to command the 
attention of the most superficial observer. How it is at home 
we are told by Sir Francis Head, whose statements on this subject 
cannot be read without interest : — 

"As regards the women of Ireland, their native modesty cannot fail 
to attract the observation of any stranger. Their dress was invariably 
decent, generally pleasing, and often strikingly picturesque. Almost 
all wore woollen petticoats, dyed by themselves, of a rich madder 
colour, between crimson and scarlet. Upon their shoulders, and occa- 
sionally from their heads, hung, in a variety of beautiful folds, some- 
times a plaid of red and green, sometimes a cloak, usually dark blue 


or dingy white. Their garments, however, like those of the men, were 
occasionally to be seen in tatters." — P. 119. 

Anxious to be fully informed on the subject, the traveller took 
occasion to interrogate various police-officers and gentlemen, and 
the result of his inquiries will be seen on a perusal of the following 
questions and answers : — 

Q. " How long have you been on duty in Galway ?" 

A. "Above nine years." 

Q. "Have you much crime here V 

A. "Very little ; it principally consists of petty larcenies." 

Q. "Have there been here many illegitimate children?" 

A. " Scarcely any. During the whole of the eight years I have been 
on duty here I have not known of an illegitimate child being reared up 
in any family in the town." 

Q. ""What do you mean by being reared up ?" 

A. "I mean that, being acquainted with every family in Galway, I 
have never known of a child of that description being born." — P. 208. 

Q. " How long have you been on duty here ?" 

A. "Only six months." 

Q. " During that time have you known of any instance of an illegi- 
timate child being born in the village of the Claddagh ?" 

A. " Not only have I never known of such a case, but I have never 
heard any person attribute such a case to the fisherwomen of Claddagh. 
I was on duty in the three islands of Arran, inhabited almost exclu- 
sively by fishermen, who also farm potatoes, and I never heard of one 
of their women — who are remarkable for their beauty — having had an 
illegitimate child, nor did I ever hear it attributed to them ; indeed, I 
have been informed by Mr. , a magistrate who has lived in Gal- 
way for eight years, and has been on temporary duty in the island of 
Arran, that he also had never heard there of a case of that nature." — 
P. 209. 

A. " I have been here better than two years, and during that time I 
have never known of any woman of Claddagh having had an illegiti- 
mate child — indeed, I have never even heard of it." 

Q. " Have you ever known of any such case in Galway ?" 
A. "Oh, I think there have been some cases in toivn. Of my own 
knowledge I cannot say so, but I have heard of it." — Ibid. 

Q. " How long have you been in charge of the Claddagh village ?" 

A. " I have been nine years here, for five years of which last March 
I have been in charge of Claddagh." 

Q. "During that time has there been an illegitimate child born 
there ?" 

A. " No, I have never heard of it, and if it had happened I should 
have been sure to have heard of it, as they wouldn't have allowed her 
to stop in the village." — P. 210. 

The reader will now be pleased to recollect that the production 


of food, flax, cotton, and other raw commodities requires hard la- 
bour and exposure, and it is for such labour men are fitted — that 
the conversion of food, flax, and cotton into cloth requires little ex- 
ertion and is unattended with exposure, and is therefore especially 
fitted for the weaker sex — and that when the work of conversion is 
monopolized by people who live at a distance from the place of 
production, the woman and the child must be driven to the labour of 
the field ; and therefore it is that we see the women and the children 
of Jamaica and Carolina, of Portugal and Turkey, of India and 
of Ireland, compelled to remain idle or to cultivate the land, be- 
cause of the existence of a system which denies to all places in the 
world but one the power to bring the consumer to the side of the 
producer. It was time for woman to take up the cause of her sex, 
and it may be hoped that she will prosecute the inquiry into the 
causes of the demoralization and degradation of the women of so 
large a portion of the world, until she shall succeed in extirpating 
the system so long since denounced by the greatest of all econo- 
mists, as "a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of man « 
[and woman] kind." 


Centralization tends everywhere to the exhaustion of the land, 
and to its consolidation in fewer hands, and with every step in 
this direction man becomes less and less free to determine for whom 
he will work and what shall be his reward. That such has been 
the tendency in Jamaica, India, and Ireland, has been shown, and 
it is now proposed to show that the same tendency exists in Scotland, 
the Northern part of which has become exclusively agricultural as 
even its home manufactures have passed away, and must look to a 
distance for a market for all its products, involving, of course, 
a necessity for exhausting the land. 

The Highland tacksman, originally co-proprietor of the land of 
the clan, became at first vassal, then hereditary tenant, then tenant 


at will, and thus the property in land passed from the many into 
the hands of the few, who have not hesitated to avail themselves 
of the power so obtained. The payment of money rents was 
claimed by them eighty years since, but the amount was very 
small, as is shown by the following passage from a work of that 
date : — 

" The rent of these lands is very trifling compared to their extent, 
but compared to the number of mouths which a farm maintains, it will 
perhaps be found that a plot of land in the highlands of Scotland feeds 
ten times more people than a farm of the same extent in the richest 
provinces." — Stewart's Political Economy, vol. i. chap. xvi. 

Of some of the proceedings of the present century the following 
sketch is furnished by a recent English writer : — 

" Even in the beginning of the 19th century the rental imposts were 
very small, as is shown by the work of Mr. Lock, (1820,) the steward 
of the Countess of Sutherland, who directed the improvements on her 
estates. He gives for instance the rental of the Kintradawell estate 
for 1811, from which it appears that up to then, every family was oblig- 
ed to pay a yearly impost of a few shillings in money, a few fowls, 
and some days' work, at the highest. 

" It was only after 1811 that the ultimate and real usurpation was 
enacted, the forcible transformation of clan-property into the private 
property, in the modern sense, of the chief. The person who stood 
at the head of this economical revolution, was the Countess of Suther- 
land and Marchioness of Stafford. 

" Let us first state that the ancestors of the marchioness were the 
1 great men' of the most northern part of Scotland, of very near 
three-quarters of Sutherlandshire. This county is more extensive 
than . many French departments or small German principalities. 
"When the Countess of Sutherland inherited these estates, which she 
afterward brought to her husband, the Marquis of Stafford, afterward 
Duke of Sutherland, the population of them was already reduced to 
15,000. The countess resolved upon a radical economical reform, and 
determined upon transforming the whole tract of country into sheep- 
walks. From 1814 to 1820, these 15,000 inhabitants, about 3000 
families, were systematically expelled and exterminated. All their 
villages were demolished and burned down, and all their fields con- 
verted into pasturage. British soldiers were commanded for this exe- 
cution, and came to blows with the natives. An old woman refusing 
to quit her hut, was burned in the flames of it. Thus the countess 
appropriated to herself seven hundred and ninety-four thousand acres 
of land, which from time immemorial had belonged to the clan. She 
allotted to the expelled natives abont six thousand acres — two acres per 
family. These six thousand acres had been lying waste until then, 
and brought no revenue to the proprietors. The countess was gene- 
rrus enough to sell the acre at 2s. 6c?. on an average, to the clan-men 


who for centuries past had shed their blood for her family. The 
whole of the unrightfully appropriated clan-land she divided into 
twenty-nine large sheep-farms, each of them inhabited by one single 
family, mostly English farm-labourers ; and in 1821 the 15,000 Gaels 
had already been superseded by 131,000 sheep. 

" A portion of the aborigines had been thrown upon the sea-shore, 
and attempted to live by fishing. They became amphibious, and, as 
an English author says, lived half on land and half on water, and 
after all did not half live upon both." 

Throughout the North of Scotland the tenants of the small 
grazing farms into which the Highland counties had been divided, 
have been ousted for the purpose of creating sheep-walks, and to 
such an extent has this been carried, that where once, and at no 
distant period, were numerous black-cattle farms, not an inhabit- 
ant is now to be seen for many miles. * The work, too, is still 
going on. "The example of Sutherland," says Mr. Thornton,")* 
"is imitated in the neighbouring counties. " 

The misery of these poor people is thus described : — 

" Hinds engaged by the year are seldom paid more than two-thirds 
of what they would receive in the South, and few of them are fortu- 
nate enough to obtain regular employment. Farm-servants, however, 
form only a small proportion of the peasantry, a much greater num- 
ber being crofters, or tenants of small pieces of ground, from which 
they derive almost their whole subsistence. Most of them live very 
miserably. The soil is so poor, and rents in some instances so exorbi- 
tant, that occupiers of four or five acres can do little more than main- 
tain themselves, yet it is their aid alone that saves their still poorer 
brethren from starvation. This is true even of Sutherland, which is 
commonly represented as a highly improved county, and in which a 
signal change for the better is said to have taken place in the charac- 
ter and habits of the people, t Recent inquiry has discovered that 
even there, in districts once famous for fine men and gallant soldiers, 
the inhabitants have degenerated into a meagre and stunted race. In 
the healthiest situations, on hillsides fronting the sea, the faces of 
their famished children are as thin and pale as they could be in the 
foul atmosphere of a London alley. $ Still more deplorable are the 
scenes exhibited in the Western Highlands, especially on the coasts 
and in the adjoining islands. A large population has there been as- 
sembled, so ill provided with any means of support, that during part 
of almost every year from 45,000 to 80,000 1| of them are in a state of 

* Thornton on Over-population, 248. f Ibid. 250. 

% Mc Culloeh, Stat. Acct. of British Empire, vol. 1. 315. 
§ Times Newspaper, June 7th, 1844. 
|j Report of Highland Emigration Committee, 1841. 


destitution, and entirely dependent upon charity. Many of the heads 
of families hold crofts from four to seven acres in extent, but these, 
notwithstanding their small size, and the extreme barrenness of the 
soil, have often two, three, and sometimes even four families upon 
them. One estate in the Hebrides, the nominal rent of which is only 
£5200 a year, is divided into 1108 crofts, and is supposed to have 
more than 8300 persons living upon it. In another instance a rental 
of £1814 is payable (for little is really paid) by 365 crofters, and the 
whole population of the estate is estimated at more than 2300. In 
Cromarty, 1500 persons are settled upon an estate let nominally for 
£750, but paying not more than half that sum." — Thornton, 74. 

" Of course, they live most wretchedly. Potatoes are the usual food, 
for oatmeal is considered a luxury, to be reserved for high days and 
holidays, but even potatoes are not raised in sufficient abundance. 
The year's stock is generally exhausted before the succeeding crop is 
ripe, and the poor are then often in a most desperate condition, for the 
poor-law is a dead letter in the North of Scotland, and the want of a 
legal provision for the necessitous is but ill supplied by the spontane- 
ous contributions of the land-owners. — Ibid. 76. 

At the moment of writing this, the journals of the day furnish 
information that famine prevails in the Hebrides, and that " in 
the Isle of Skye alone there are 10,000 able-bodied persons at 
this time without work, without food, and without credit." 

The condition of these poor people would certainly be much 
improved could they find some indulgent master who would pur- 
chase them at such prices as would make it to his interest to feed, 
clothe, and lodge them well in return for their labour. 

In the days of Adam Smith about one-fifth of the surface of 
Scotland was supposed to be entailed, and he saw the disadvan- 
tages of the system to be so great that he denounced the system as 
being " founded upon the most absurd of all suppositions — the 
supposition that every successive generation of men have not an 
equal right to the earth and all that it possesses; but that the 
property of the present generation should be retained and regu- 
lated according to the fancy of those who died perhaps five hundred 
years ago." Instead of changing the system, and doing that 
which might tend to the establishment of greater freedom of trade 
in land, the movement has been in a contrary direction, and to 
such an extent that one-half of Scotland is now supposed to be 
entailed; and yet, singularly enough, this is the system advocated 
by Mr. McCulloch, a follower in the foot-steps of Adam Smith, as 



being the one calculated " to render all classes more industrious, and 
to augment at the same time the mass of wealth and the scale of 

The effects of the system are seen in the enormous rents con- 
tracted to be paid for the use of small pieces of land at a distance 
from market, the failure in the payment of which makes the poor 
cultivator a mere slave to the proprietor. How the latter use 
their power, may be seen by the following extract from a Canadian 
journal of 1851 : — 

" A Colonel , the owner of estates in South Uist and Barra, in 

the highlands of Scotland, has sent off over 1100 destitute tenants and 
cotters under the most cruel and delusive temptations ; assuring them 
that they would be taken care of immediately on their arrival at Que- 
bec by the emigrant agent, receive a free passage to Upper Canada, 
where they would be provided with work by the government agents, 
and receive grants of land on certain imaginary conditions. Seventy- 
one of the last cargo of four hundred and fifty have signed a state- 
ment that some of them fled to the mountains when an attempt was 
made to force them to emigrate. ' Whereupon/ they add, ' Mr. Fle- 
ming gave orders to a policeman, who was accompanied by the ground 
officer of the estate in Barra, and some constables, to pursue the 
people who had run away among the mountains, which they did, and 
succeeded in capturing about twenty from the mountains and from 
other islands in the neighbourhood ; but only came with the officers on 
an attempt being made to handcuff them, and that some who ran 
away were not brought back ; in consequence of which four families, 
at least, have been divided, some having come in the ships to Quebec, 
while other members of the same families are left in the highlands.' " 

" On board the Conrad and the Birman were 518 persons from Mull 

and Tyree, sent out by his grace the Duke of , who provided them 

with a free passage to Montreal, where on arrival they presented the 
same appearance of destitution as those from South Uist, sent out by 
Colonel , that is, ' entirely destitute of money and provisions.' ;; 

Numbers of these people perished, as we are told, of disease and 
want of food in the winter which followed their arrival in Canada, 
and that such would have been the case might naturally have been 
anticipated by those who exported them. 

The wretched cotters who are being everywhere expelled from the 
land are forced to take refuge in cities and towns, precisely as we 
see now to be the case in Ireland. "In Glasgow/' says Mr. 
Thornton — 

" There are nearly 30,000 poor Highlanders, most of them living in 


a state of misery, "which shows how dreadful must have been the pri- 
vations to which such misery is preferred. Such of them as are able- 
bodied obtain employment without much difficulty, and may not per- 
haps, have much reason to complain of deficiency of the first requisites 
of life ; but the quarter they inhabit is described as enclosing a larger 
amount of filth, crime, misery, and disease, than could have been sup- 
posed to exist in one spot in any civilized country. It consists of long 
lanes called ' wynds/ so narrow that a cart could scarcely pass through 
them, opening upon ' closes,' or courts, about 15 or 20 feet square, 
round which the houses, mostly three stories high, are built, and in 
the centre of which is a dunghill. The houses are occupied indiscrimi- 
nately by labourers of the lowest class, thieves, and prostitutes, and 
every apartment is filled with a promiscuous crowd of men and women, 
all in the most revolting state of filth. Amid such scenes and such 
companions as these, thousands of the most intelligent of the High- 
landers are content to take refuge, for it is precisely those who are 
best educated and best informed that are most impatient of the penury 
they have to endure at home. 

" The inhabitants of the Glasgow wynds and closes may be likened 
to those of the Liverpool cellars, or to those of the worst parts of 
Leeds, St. Giles's, and Bethnal Green, in London ; and every other class 
of the Scottish urban labouring population may likewise be delineated 
with the same touches (more darkened, however,) which have been 
used in describing the corresponding class in English towns. Manu- 
facturing operatives are in pretty much the same position in both 
countries. Those of Scotland shared even more largely than their 
Southern brethren in the distress of 1840-2, when Paisley in particular 
exhibited scenes of wo far surpassing any thing that has been related 
of Bolton or Stockport,"— P. 77. 

The extent to which these poor people have been driven from 
the land may be judged by the following statement of population 
and house-accommodation : — 

Population. Inhabited houses. Persons to a house. 

1841 2,628,957 503,357 5.22 

1851 ...... 2,870,784 366,650 7.83 

Intemperance and immorality keep pace with the decline in the 
power of men over their own actions, as is shown in the following 
statement of the consumption of British spirits, under circumstances 
almost precisely similar as regards the amount of duty : — 

Duty. Gallons. 

1802 3.10J 1,158,558 

1831 3.4 5,700,689 

1841 3.8 5,989,905 

1851 3.8 6,830.710 


In 1801 the population was 1,599,068, and since that time it 
has increased eighty per cent., whereas the consumption of spirits 
has grown almost six hundred per cent. ! 

The poor people who are expelled from the land cannot be sold. 
The hammer of the auctioneer cannot be allowed to separate parents 
from children, or husbands from wives, but poverty, drunkenness, 
and prostitution produce a similar effect, and in a form even more 
deplorable. In the five years preceding 1840, every fifth person 
in Glasgow had been attacked by fever, and the deaths therefrom 
amounted to almost five thousand. g 

It is impossible to study the condition of this portion of the 
United Kingdom without arriving at the conclusion that society is 
rapidly being divided into the very rich and the very poor, and 
that the latter are steadily declining in their power of self-govern- 
ment, and becoming more and more slaves to the former. Cen- 
tralization tends here, as everywhere, to absenteeism, and "ab- 
senteeism," says Dr. Forbes of Glasgow* — 

" Is in its results everywhere the same. All the transactions and 
communications between the richer and the poorer classes, have thus 
substituted for them the sternness of official agency, in the room of 
that kind and generous treatment which, let them meet unrestrained, 
the more prosperous children of the same parent would in almost every 
case pay to their less fortunate brothers. * * * Where the power 
of sympathy has been altogether or nearly abolished among the dif- 
ferent ranks of society, one of the first effects appears in a yawning 
and ever-widening gulf of poverty which gathers round its founda- 
tions. As the lofty shore indicates the depth of the surrounding ocean, 
the proud pinnacles of wealth in society are the indices of a corre- 
sponding depression among the humbler ranks. The greatest misery of 
man is ever the adjunct of his proudest splendour." 

Such are the results everywhere of that system which looks to 
converting England into a great workshop and confining the people 
of all other nations to the labours of the field. In Jamaica, it 
annihilated three-fifths of all the negroes imported, and it is now 
rapidly driving the remainder into barbarism and ultimately 4o 
annihilation. In the Southern States, it causes the export of men, 

* Lectures on the Social and Moral Condition of the People, by various Minis- 
ters of the Gospel. Glasgow. 


women, and children, and the breaking up of families. In India, it 
has caused famines and pestilences, and is now establishing the 
slave trade in a new form. In Ireland, it has in half a century 
carried the people back to a condition worthy only of the darkest 
part of the Middle Ages, and is now extirpating them from the land 
of their fathers. In Scotland, it is rapidly dividing the population 
into two parts — the master on one hand, and the slave on the other. 
How it has operated, and is now operating, in England itself, we 
may now examine. 



The Roman people sought to centralize within their walls the 
power of governing and taxing all the nations of the earth, and to 
a great extent they succeeded; but in the effort to acquire power 
over others they lost all power over themselves. As the city grew 
in size and as its great men became greater, the proportions of the 
people everywhere became less. The freemen of the Campagna 
had almost disappeared even in the days of the elder Scipio, and 
their humble habitations had given way to palaces, the centre of 
great estates, cultivated by slaves. Step by step with the increase 
of power abroad came increased consolidation of the land at home, 
and as the people were more and more driven from the soil the 
city grew in numbers and magnificence, and in the poverty and 
rapacity of its inhabitants. The populace needed to be fed, and 
that they might be so there was established a great system of poor- 
laws, carried into effect by aid of the taxation of distant provinces, 
at whose expense they were both fed and entertained. They de- 
manded cheap food, and they obtained their desires at the cost of 
the cultivators, abroad and at home, who became more and more 



enslaved as Rome itself was more cheaply supplied. Desires grew 
with their indulgence, and the greater the facility for living with- 
out labour, the greater became the necessity for seeking " new 
markets'' in which to exercise their powers of appropriation, and 
the more extensive became the domain of slavery. Bankers and 
middlemen grew more and more in power, and while the wealth of 
Crassus enabled him to obtain the control of the East, enormous 
loans gave to Caesar the command of the "West, leaving to Pompey 
and his moneyed friends the power to tax the centre and the South. 
Next, Augustus finds the city of brick and leaves it of marble ; 
and Herodes Atticus appears upon the stage sole improver, and 
almost sole owner, in Attica, once so free, while bankers and no- 
bles accumulate enormous possessions in Africa, Gaul, and Britain, 
and the greater the extent of absentee ownership the greater 
becomes the wretchedness and the crime of the pauper mob of 
Rome. Still onward the city grows, absorbing the wealth of the 
world, and with it grow the poverty, slavery, and rapacity of the 
people, the exhaustion of provinces, and the avarice and tyran- 
ny of rulers and magistrates, until at length the empire, rotten at 
the heart, becomes the prey of barbarians, and all become slaves 
alike, — thus furnishing proof conclusive that the community which 
desires to command respect for its own rights must practise respect 
for those of others ; or in other words, must adopt as its motto the 
great lesson which lies at the base of all Christianity — " Do unto 
others as ye would that they should do unto you." 

A survey of the British Empire at the present moment presents 
to view some features so strongly resembling those observed in 
ancient Borne as to warrant calling the attention of the reader to 
their careful observation. Like Borne, England has desired to 
establish political centralization by aid of fleets and armies, but to 
this she has added commercial centralization, far more destructive 
in its effects, and far more rapid in its operation. Borne was con- 
tent that her subjects should occupy themselves as they pleased, 
either in the fields or in the factories, provided only that they paid 
their taxes. England, on the contrary, has sought to restrict her 
subjects and the people of the world in their modes of employment; 


and this she has done with a view to compel them to make all their 
exchanges in her single market, leaving to her to fix the prices of 
all she bought and all she sold, thus taxing them at her discretion 
in both time and money. She has sought to compel all other 
nations to follow the plough, leaving to her the loom and the 
anvil, and thus to render it necessary that they should bring to 
her all their products in the rudest form, at great cost of transporta- 
tion, and total loss of the manure yielded by them, thus exhausting 
their soil and themselves ; and the consequences of this are seen in 
the ruin, depopulation, and slavery of the "West Indies, Ireland, 
India, Portugal, Turkey, and other countries that have been par- 
tially or wholly subjected to her dominion. Hence it is that she 
is seen to be everywhere seeking " new markets." Bengal having 
been in a great degree exhausted, it became necessary to annex the 
North-west provinces, and thence we find her stretching out her 
hand at one moment to seize on Afghanistan, at another to force 
the Chinese into permitting her to smuggle opium, and at a third 
to expel the Sikhs and occupy the Punjab, as preliminary to this 
invasion and subjection of the Burman Empire. She needs, and 
must have new markets, as Rome needed new provinces, and for 
the same reason, the exhaustion of the old ones. She rejoices 
with great joy at the creation of a new market in Australia, and 
looks with a longing eye on the Empire of Japan, whose prosper- 
ous people, under a peaceful government, prefer to avoid entering 
on the same course of action that has resulted in the reduction of 
the wealthy and powerful Hindostan to its present distressed con- 

It was against this system that Adam Smith cautioned his coun- 
trymen, as not only a violation of " the most sacred rights" of 
man, but as leading inevitably to consequences in the highest 
degree injurious to themselves, in depreciating the value of both 
labour and capital. Up to his time, however, it had been carried 
out in a very small degree. The colonies were then few in num- 
ber, but those were heavily taxed, as has been shown in the 
candid admission of Joshua Gee, that the colonists carried home 
but one-fourth of the value of the commodities they brought to 


the great market.* The system was then only in its infancy. 
In India, the Company had but then first obtained the concession 
of a right to act in the capacity of tax-gatherer for Bengal. On 
this continent, the right thus to tax the colonists was seriously 
contested, and The Wealth of Nations had not been long before the 
world before it came to be explicitly and successfully denied. 
The tendency of the system was, however, so obvious to its author, 
that he desired to warn his countrymen against the effort to build 
up " colonies of customers," as unworthy of a great people, and 
worthy only of "a nation of shopkeepers," — and happy for them 
would it have been had his advice been taken. It was not. From 
that day to the present, every step has been in the direction against 
which he cautioned them, as was shown in a former chapter, and 
from year to year the people of England have become more and 
more the mere traders in the products of the labours of other men, 
and more and more compelled to seek " new markets," as did the 
Roman people, — the only difference being that in every case the 
exhaustion has been accomplished with a rapidity unparalleled in 
the annals of Rome, or of the world. A century since, India was 
rich, and now her government, collecting annually one-fifth of the 
whole value of the land, is sustained only by means of a monopoly 
of the power to poison and enslave the Chinese by means of 
a vile drug, and the poor Hindoo is forced to seek for food in the 
swamps of Jamaica and Gluiana. Half a century since, Ireland 
had a highly cultivated society, with a press that sent forth large 
editions of the most valuable and expensive books produced in 
England, and now her people are decimated by famine and pesti- 
lence. Twenty years since, there existed some little prospect that 
the poor negroes of Jamaica and Guiana might at some future 
time become civilized, but that hope has passed away, as has the 
value of the land upon which they have been employed. What 
has been the effect of this course of policy upon the condition of 
the people of England we may now inquire. 

In the days of Adam Smith it was estimated that there were in 

* See page 71, ante. 


that country 220,000 owners of land, and as a necessary conse- 
quence of this extensive ownership of property, there was a very de- 
cided tendency toward an increase in the freedom of man, as shown 
in the efforts made but a few years later for obtaining a reform 
in various matters of government. The French Revolution came, 
however, and now the doctrine of " ships, colonies, and commerce" 
had much to do in bringing about a state of war, during the 
whole of which England enjoyed almost a monopoly of the trade 
of the world. Having all the woollen and cotton machinery, and 
almost all the machinery for the production of iron, she was en- 
abled to buy produce and sell manufactures at her own prices ; and 
thus were the already wealthy greatly enriched. The poor-houses 
were, however, everywhere filled with starving labourers, and so 
rapidly did their number increase that it became at length necessary 
to give to the statute of Elizabeth a new and enlarged construction; 
and here do we find another coincidence in the working of Roman 
and British centralization. A still further one will be found in 
the fact that precisely as the labourer was losing all power of self- 
government, the little proprietors of land disappeared, to be re- 
placed by day-labourers. 

The peace, however came, and with it a desire on the part of 
other nations to supply themselves with cloth, iron, and other 
manufactured commodities ; and to enable them to carry into effect 
their wishes, many of them imposed duties having for their ob- 
ject the bringing together of the plough and the loom, the ham- 
mer and the harrow. This produced, of course, a necessity for 
new exertions to underwork those nations, leading to constant im- 
provements of machinery, each tending to enable the capitalist more 
and more to accumulate fortune and purchase land, the consolida- 
tion of which has been continued until at length it has resulted in the 
fact, that in place of the 220,000 English land-owners of the days 
of Adam Smith, there now exist but 80,000, while all the land of 
Scotland has, as is stated, accumulated in the hands of 6000 per- 

As the 190,000 proprietors came by degrees to be represented 
by day-labourers, pauperism increased, and the labourer became 


from year to year more enslaved, and more dependent for exist- 
ence upon the favours of farmers, parish beadles, and constables, 
until at length a reform of the system having become absolutely 
necessary, it was undertaken. Instead, however, of inquiring 
into the causes of this increased dependence with a view to 
their abolition, it was determined to abolish the relief that they 
had rendered necessary, and hence the existence of the new poor- 
law. By virtue of its provisions, inability to obtain food became a 
crime punishable by the separation of husbands from wives and 
parents from children; and thus we see that in the last twenty 
years English legislation has tended greatly in the same direction 
with the domestic slave trade of this country. 

Consolidation of the land drove the labourers from the cultiva- 
tion of the soil, while improved machinery tended constantly to 
drive them out from the factory, and thus were the poor made 
poorer and weaker, as the rich grew richer and stronger. Ireland, 
too, contributed largely to the same result. As the Act of Union 
gradually closed her factories and drove her people to cultivation 
as the sole means of supporting life, they found themselves, like 
the Italians of olden time, forced to emigrate to the place where taxes 
were distributed, in the hope of obtaining wages, and their compe- 
tition threw the English labourer still more in the hands of the 
capitalist. From year to year the small proprietor was seen to 
pass into the condition of a day-labourer, and the small em- 
ploying mechanic or tradesman to pass into a receiver of wages, 
and thus did the whole people tend more and more to become 
divided into two great classes, separated from each other by an 
impassable gulf, the very rich and the very poor, the master and 
the slave. 

As England became more and more flooded with the wretched 
people of the sister island, driven from home in search of employ- 
ment, the wealthy found it more and more easy to accomplish " the 
great works" for which, as the London Times inform us, the coun- 
try is indebted to the " cheap labour of Ireland," and the greater 
the influx of this labour the more rapid was the decline in the 
power of both Ireland and Britain to furnish a market for the pro- 


ducts of the manufacturing labour of England. Hence arose, of 
course, a necessity for looking abroad for new markets to take the 
place of those before obtained at home, and thus cheap labour, a 
consequence of the system, became in its turn a cause of new efforts 
at dispensing with and further cheapening labour. As the Irish- 
man could no longer buy, it became necessary that the Hindoo 
should be driven from his own market. As the Highlander was 
expelled, it became more and more necessary to underwork the 
spinners and weavers of China. As the Bengalese now become 
impoverished, there arises a necessity for filling the Punjab and 
Afghanistan, Burmah and Borneo, with British goods. Pauperism 
lies necessarily at the root of such a system. " It is," said a 
speaker at the late Bradford election for representative in Parlia- 
ment — 

"Its root. That system is based on foreign competition. Now I 
assert, that under the buy cheap and sell dear principle, brought to bear 
on foreign competition, the ruin of the working and small trading classes 
must go on. Why? Labour is the creator of all wealth. A man must 
work before a grain is grown, or a yard is woven. But there is no 
self-employment for the working-man in this country. Labour is a 
hired commodity — labour is a thing in the market that is bought and 
sold ; consequently, as labour creates all wealth, labour is the first 
thing bought. ' Buy cheap ! buy cheap !' Labour is bought in the 
cheapest market. But now comes the next. \ Sell dear ! sell dear !' 
Sell what? Labour's produce. To whom? To the foreigner — ay! and 
to the labourer himself — for labour not being self-employed, the labourer 
is not the partaker of the first-fruits of his toil. ' Buy cheap, sell dear.' 
How do you like it ? ' Buy cheap, sell dear. 7 Buy the working-man's 
labour cheaply, and sell back to that very working-man the produce 
of his own labour dear ! The principle of inherent loss is in the bargain. 
The employer buys the labour cheap — he sells, and on the sale he must 
make a profit : he sells to the working-man himself — and thus every 
bargain between employer and employed is a deliberate cheat on the 
part of the employer. Thus labour has to sink through eternal loss, 
that capital may rise through lasting fraud. But the system stops not 
here. This is brought to bear ox foreign competitiox — which 


ruixed the labour of our owx. How does it work ? The high-taxed 
country has to undersell the low-taxed. Competition abroad is con- 
stantly increasing, consequently cheapness must increase also. Therefore, 
wages in England must keep constantly falling. And how do they 
effect the fall ? By surplus labour. By monopoly of the land, which 
drives more hands than are wanted into the factory. By monopoly 
of machinery, which drives those hands into the street ; by woman 


labour, which drives the man from the shuttle ; by child labour, which 
drives the woman from the loom. Then planting their foot upon that 
living base of surplus, they press its aching heart beneath their heel, 
and cry ' Starvation ! Who'll work ? A half loaf is better than no 
bread at all f and the writhing mass grasps greedily at their terms. 
Such is the system for the working-man. But, electors, how does it 
operate on you ? how does it affect home trade, the shopkeeper, poor's 
rate, and taxation ? For every increase of competition abroad, there must 
be an increase of cheapness at home. Every increase of cheapness in 
labour is based on increase of labour surplus, and this surplus is ob- 
tained by an increase of machinery. I repeat, how does this operate 
on you ? The Manchester liberal on my left establishes a new patent, 
and throws three hundred men as a surplus in the streets. Shop- 
keepers ! Three hundred customers less. Rate-payers ! Three hun- 
dred paupers more. But, mark me ! The evil stops not there. These 
three hundred men operate first to bring down the wages of those who re- 
main at work in their own trade. The employer says, * Now I reduce 
your wages/ The men demur. Then he adds, • Do you see those 
three hundred men who have just walked out? you may change 
places if you like, they're sighing to come in on any terms, for they're 
starving.' The men feel it, and are crushed. Ah ! you Manchester 
liberal ! Pharisee of politics ! those men are listening — have I got you 
now? But the evil stops not yet. Those men, driven from their own 
trade, seek employment in others, when they swell the surplus and bring 
wages down." 

Strong as is all this, it is nevertheless true. England is engaged 
in a war of extermination waged against the labour of all other 
countries employed in any pursuit except that of raising raw pro- 
duce to be sent to her own market, there to be exchanged for the 
cloth and the iron produced at the mills and furnaces of her million- 
aires, who have accumulated their vast fortunes at the expense of 
Ireland, India, Portugal, Turkey, and the other countries that have 
been ruined by the system which looks to the exhaustion of the soil 
of all other lands, to the impoverishment and enslavement of their 
people, and which was so indignantly denounced by Adam Smith. 
In the effort to crush them she has been crushing her own people, 
and the more rapid the spread of pauperism at home the greater 
have been her efforts to produce the surplus labour which causes a 
fall of wages at home and abroad. 

With the consolidation of land in the hands of a few proprietors 
there is a steady decline in the number of people employed upon 
it, and an equally steady one in that hope of rising in the world 
which is elsewhere seen to be the best incentive to exertion. "The 


peasant knows," says a recent English writer,* "that he must die 
in the same position in which he was born." Again, he says, 
" the want of small farms deprives the peasant of all hope of im- 
proving his condition in life." The London Times assures its 
readers that "once a peasant in England, the man must remain a 
peasant for ever;" and Mr. Kay, after careful examination of the 
condition of the people of continental Europe, assures his readers 
that, as one of the consequences of this state of things, the peasantry 
of England "are more ignorant, more demoralized, less capable of 
helping themselves, and more pauperized, than those of any other 
country in Europe, if we except Kussia, Turkey, South Italy, and 
some parts of the Austrian Empire. "f 

Under such circumstances the middle class tends gradually to 
pass away, and its condition is well expressed by the term now so 
frequently used, "the uneasy class." The small capitalist, who 
would elsewhere purchase a piece of land, a horse and cart, or a 
machine of some kind calculated to enable him to double the pro- 
ductiveness of his labour and increase its reward, is in England 
forced to make his investments in savings banks or life-insurance 
offices, and thus to place his little capital in the hands of others, 
at three per cent., whereas he could have fifty or a hundred per 
cent, could he be permitted to use it himself. There is, therefore, 
a perpetual strife for life, and each man is, as has been said, " en- 
deavouring to snatch the piece of bread from his neighbour's 
mouth." The atmosphere of England is one of intense gloom. 
Every one is anxious for the future, for himself or his children. 
There is a universal feeling of doubt as to how to dispose of the 
labour or the talents of themselves or their sons, and the largest 
fees are paid to men already wealthy, in the hope of obtaining aid 
toward securing steady employment. " This gloom of England," 
says a late English writer — 

"Is in truth one of the most formidable evils of modern time's. 
With all the advance in morality and decency of the present century, 

• Kay's Social Condition of England and of Europe, vol. i. 70. 
f Ibid. 359. 



we have receded rather than gone forward in the attainment of that 
true Christian cheerfulness, which — notwithstanding the popular pro- 
verb — I believe to be the blessing next in value to godliness. 

" I truly believe," he continues, "that one of the chief obstacles to 
the progress of pure living Christianity in this country is to be found 
in that worldly carefulness which causes our intense gravity, and makes 
us the most silent nation in Europe. The respectability of England is 
its bane ; we worship respectability, and thus contrive to lose both the 
enjoyments of earth and the enjoyments of heaven. If Great Britain 
could once learn to laugh like a child, she would be in the way once 
more to pray like a saint. 

"But this is not all: the sensuality and gross vice, and the hateful 
moroseness and harshness of temper, which result from our indisposi- 
tion for gayety and enjoyment, are literally awful to think of. Pride 
and licentiousness triumph in our land, because we are too careworn or 
too stupid to enter heartily into innocent recreations. Those two de- 
mons, one of which first cast man out of Paradise, while the other has 
degraded him to the level of the brutes, are served by myriads of 
helpless slaves, who are handed over to a bondage of passion, through 
the gloominess that broods over our national character. The young 
and the old alike, the poor and the wealthy, are literally driven to 
excess, because there is nothing in our state of society to refresh them 
after their toils, or to make life as much a season of enjoyment as the 
inevitable lot of mortality will allow. 

"Men fly to vice for the want of pure and innocent pleasures. The 
gin-shops receive those who might be entertaining themselves with the 
works of art in a public gallery. The whole animal portion of our 
being is fostered at the expense of the spiritual. We become brutalized, 
because we are morbidly afraid of being frivolous and of wasting our 
time. The devil keeps possession of an Englishman's heart, through 
the instrumentality of his carnal passions, because he is too proud 
and too stupid to laugh and enjoy himself. 

" Secret sin destroys its myriads, immolated on the altar of outward 
respectability and of a regard for the opinion of a money-getting 

The existence of such a state of things is indeed a " formidable 
evil," but how could it fail to exist in a country in which all indi- 
viduality is being lost as the little land-owner gradually disappears 
to be replaced by the day-labourer, and as the little shop-keeper 
gradually sinks into a clerk ? How could it be otherwise in a 
country in which weak women, and children of the most tender 
age, spend their nights in cellars, and the long day of twelve or 
fifteen hours in factories, whose owners know of them nothing but, 
as in a penitentiary, their number — a country in which males and 
females work naked in coal-mines — and find themselves compelled 
to do all these things because of the necessity for preventing the 


poor Hindoo from calling to his aid the powerful steam, and for 
compelling him, his wife, and his children, to limit themselves to 
the labour of the field? How could it be otherwise in a country 
in which H labourers, whether well off or not, never attempt to be 
better?"* How otherwise in a country distinguished among all 
others for the enormous wealth of a few, for the intensity of toil 
and labour of all below them, and for the anxiety with which the 
future is regarded by all but those who, bereft of hope, know that 
all they can expect on this side of the grave is an indifferent supply 
of food and raiment ? " In no country of the world," says Mr. 

" Is so much time spent in the mere acquisition of wealth, and so 
little time in the enjoyment of life and of all the means of happiness 
which God has given to man, as in England. 

"In no country in the world do the middle classes labour so intensely 
as here. One would think, to view the present state of English society, 
that man was created for no other purpose than to collect wealth, and 
that he was forbidden to gratify the beautiful tastes with which he 
has been gifted for the sake of his own happiness. To be rich, with 
us, is the great virtue, the pass into all society, the excuse for many 
frailties, and the mask for numerous deformities." 

An Eastern proverb says that " curses, like young chickens, al- 
ways come home to roost." Few cases could be presented of a 
more perfect realization of this than is found in the present condi- 
tion of England. Half a century since it was decreed that the 
poor people of Ireland should confine themselves to the cultivation 
and exhaustion of their soil, abstaining from the mining of coal, 
the smelting of ore, or the making of cloth ; and during nearly all 
that time they have so flooded England with " cheap labour" as to 
have produced from the Times the declaration, before referred to, 
that " for a whole generation man has been a drug and population 
a nuisance" — precisely the state of things in which men tend most 
to become enslaved. Cheap corn, cheap cotton, cheap tobacco, and 
cheap sugar, mean low-priced agricultural labour; and the low- 
priced labourer is always a slave, and aiding to produce elsewhere 
the slavery of his fellow-labourers, whether in the field or in the 

* Kay's Social Condition of England and of Europe, vol. 1, 183. 


workshop. This, however, is in perfect accordance with the doc- 
trines of some of England's most distinguished statesmen, as the 
reader has already seen in the declaration of Mr. Huskisson, that 
u to give capital a fair remuneration, the price of labour must be 
kept down," — by which he proved the perfect accuracy of the pre- 
dictions of the author of The Wealth of Nations. 

The harmony of true interests among nations is perfect, and an 
enlightened self-interest would lead every nation to carry into full 
effect the golden rule of Christianity ; and yet even now, the most 1 - 
distinguished men in England regard smuggling almost as a vir- 
tuous act, and the smuggler as a great reformer, because his labours 
tend to enable their countrymen to do everywhere what has been 
done in the West Indies, in Ireland, Portugal, Turkey, and India — 
separate the consumer from the producer. They regard it as the 
appointed work of England to convert the whole earth into one vast 
farm dependent upon one vast workshop, and that shop in the 
island of Great Britain. Such being the views of peers of the 
realm, lord chancellors, ministers of state, political economists, 
and statisticians, can we wonder at a decline of morality among the 
middle class, under the combined influence of the struggle for life, 
and the assurance that " the end sanctifies the means," and that 
false invoices are but a means of working out a great reformation 
in the commercial system of the world ? Good ends rarely require 
such means for their accomplishment, and the very fact that it was 
needed to have Gibraltar as a means of smuggling into Spain, 
Canada as a means of smuggling into this country,* and Hong 
Kong for the purpose of poisoning the Chinese with smuggled 
opium, should have led to a careful consideration of the question 
whether or not the system which looked to exhausting the soil of 
Virginia and driving the poor negro to the sugar culture in Texas, 
was one of the modes of " doing God service." 

Unsound moral feeling is a necessary consequence of an exclu- 
sive devotion to trade such as is now seen to exist in England. It 

* On a recent occasion in the House of Lords, it was declared to be important 
to retain Canada, on the express ground that it greatly facilitated smuggling. 


is the business of the trader to buy cheaply and sell dearly, be the 
consequences what they may to those from whom he buys, or to 
whom he sells; and unhappily the prosperity of England now 
depends so entirely on buying cheaply and selling dearly that she 
is forced to overlook the effects upon those to whom she sells, or 
from whom she buys, and she therefore rejoices when others are 
being ruined, and grieves when they are being enriched. Her 
interests are always, and necessarily so, opposed to those of the rest 
of the world. She must look at every thing with the eyes of the 
mere trader who wishes to buy cheaply and sell dearly, living at 
the cost of the producer and the consumer. The former desires 
good prices for his sugar, and yet so anxious was she to obtain 
cheap sugar that she forgot her engagements with the poor emanci- 
pated negroes of Jamaica. The former desires good prices for his 
corn, but so anxious was she to have cheap corn, that she forgot hav- 
ing deprived the people of Ireland of all employment but in agri- 
culture, and at once adopted measures whose action is now expelling 
the whole nation from the scenes of their youth, and separating 
husbands and wives, mothers and children. She has placed her- 
self in a false position, and cannot now afford to reflect upon the 
operation of cheap sugar and cheap corn, cheap cotton and cheap 
tobacco, upon the people who produce them ; and therefore it is 
that the situation of Ireland and India, and of the poor people of 
Jamaica, is so much shut out from discussion. Such being the 
case with those who should give tone to public opinion, how can 
we look for sound or correct feeling among the poor occupants of 
"the sweater's den/ ; * or among the 20,000 tailors of London, 
seeking for work and unable to find it ? Or, how look for it among 
the poor shopkeepers, compelled in self-defence to adulterate almost 
every thing they sell, when they see the great cotton manufacturer 
using annually hundreds of barrels of flour to enable him to im- 
pose worthless cloth upon the poor Hindoo, and thus annihilate 
his foreign competitor ? Or, how expect to find it among the poor 
operatives of Lancashire, at one moment working full time, at 

• Alton Locke. 


another but three days in a week, and at a third totally deprived of 
employment, because goods can no longer be smuggled into foreign 
countries to leave a profit ? With them, the question of food or 
no food is dependent altogether upon the size of the cotton crop. 
If the slave trade is brisk, much cotton is made, and they have 
wages with which to support their wives and children. If the crop 
is large, the planter may be ruined, but they themselves are fed. 
" The weekly mail from America/' we are told — 

" Is not of more moment to the great cotton lord of Manchester, than 
it is to John Shuttle the weaver. * * * If he ever thinks how entirely 
his own existence and that of his own little household depend upon the 
American crop * * * he would tremble at the least rumour of war with 
the Yankees. War with America — a hurricane in Georgia — a flood in 
Alabama — are one and all death-cries to the mill-spinner and power- 
loom weaver. * * * When the cotton fields of the Southern States yield 
less than the usual quantity of cotton, the Manchester operative eats 
less than his average quantity of food. When his blood boils at the 
indignities and cruelties heaped upon the coloured race in the ' Land 
of the Free/ he does not always remember that to the slave States of 
America he owes his all — that it is for his advantage that the negro 
should wear his chains in peace." — Household Words. 

11 If his blood boils" at the sufferings of the negro in Brazil, or 
of the Hindoo in the Mauritius, he must recollect that it is at the 
cost of those sufferings that he is supplied with cheap sugar. If 
he be shocked at the continuance of the African slave trade, he 
must recollect that if negroes ceased to be imported into Cuba, he 
might have to pay a higher price for his coffee. If he is excited 
at the idea of the domestic slave trade of this country, he must 
calm himself by reflecting that it is "for his advantage" it is con- 
tinued, and that without it he could not have cheap cotton. The 
labourers of the various parts of the world are thus taught that 
there is among themselves an universal antagonism of interests, 
and this tends, of course, to the production of a bad state of moral 
feeling, and an universal tendency to decline in the feeling of 
self-dependence. Men, women, and children are becoming from 
day to day more dependent on the will of others, and as it is that 
dependence which constitutes slavery, we might with reason expect 
to find some of the vices of the slave — and were we to find them 


we should not greatly err in attributing their existence to the sys- 
tem thus described by Adam Smith : — 

" The industry of Great Britain, instead of being aecommodated to 
a great number of small markets, has been principally suited to one 
great market. Her commerce, instead of running in a great number 
of small channels, has been taught to run principally in one great 
channel. But the whole system of her industry and commerce has 
thereby been rendered less secure, the whole state of her body politic 
less healthful than it otherwise would have been. In her present con- 
dition, Great Britain resembles one of those unwholesome bodies in 
which some of the vital parts are overgrown, and which, upon that 
account, are liable to many dangerous disorders, scarce incident to 
those in which all the parts are more properly proportioned. A small 
stop in that great blood-vessel which has been artificially swelled be- 
yond its natural dimensions, and through which an unnatural propor- 
tion of the industry and commerce of the country has been forced to 
circulate, is very likely to bring on the most dangerous disorders upon 
the whole body politic." 

This is an accurate picture of that country under a system that 
seeks to direct the whole energies of its people into one direction, 
that of r buying in the cheapest market and selling in the dearest 
one/' — the pursuit that is, of all others, the least favourable to the 
development of the moral and intellectual faculties of man. 
How it is operating may be judged by the following description 
from an English writer already quoted : — 

"Of the children of the poor, who are yearly born in England, vast 
numbers never receive any education at all, while many others never 
enter any thing better than a dame or a Sunday-school. In the towns 
they are left in crowds until about eight or nine years of age, to 
amuse themselves in the dirt of the streets, while their parents pursue 
their daily toil. In these public thoroughfares, during the part of 
their lives which is most susceptible of impressions and most reten- 
tive of them, they acquire dirty, immoral, and disorderly habits ; they 
become accustomed to wear filthy and ragged clothes ; they learn to 
pilfer and to steal ; they associate with boys who have been in prison, 
and who have there been hardened in crime by evil associates ; they 
learn how to curse one another, how to fight, how to gamble, and how 
to fill up idle hours by vicious pastimes ; they acquire no knowledge 
except the knowledge of vice ; they never come in contact with their 
betters ; and they are not taught either the truths of religion or the 
way by which to improve their condition in life. Their amusements 
are as low as their habits. The excitements of low debauchery too 
horrible to be named, of spirituous liquors, which they begin to drink 
as early as they can collect pence wherewith to buy them, of the com- 
mission and concealments of thefts, and of rude and disgusting sports, 
are the pleasures of their life. The idea of going to musical meetings 


such as those of the German poor, would be scoffed at, even if there 
were any such meetings for them to attend. Innocent dancing is un- 
known to them. Country sports they cannot have. Read they can- 
not. So they hurry for amusement and excitement to the gratification 
of sensual desires and appetites. In this manner, filthy, lewd, 
sensual, boisterous, and skilful in the commission of crime, a great 
part of the populations of our towns grow up to manhood. Of the 
truth or falsehood of this description any one can convince himself, 
who will examine our criminal records, or who will visit the back 
streets of any English town, when the schools are full, and count the 
children upon the door-steps and pavements, and note their condition, 
manners, and appearance, and their degraded and disgusting prac- 
tices.— Kay, vol. i. 33.* 

This is, however, little different from what might be looked for 

in a country whose provision for the education of its people is 

thus described : — 

"About one-half of our poor can neither read nor write. The test 
of signing the name at marriage is a very imperfect absolute test of 
education, but it is a very good relative one : taking that test, how 
stands Leeds itself in the Registrar-General's returns? In Leeds, 
which is the centre of the movement for letting education remain as 
it is, left entirely to chance and charity to supply its deficiencies, how 
do we find the fact ? This, that in 1846, the last year to which these 
returns are brought down, of 1850 marriages celebrated in Leeds and 
Hunslet, 508 of the men and 1020 of the women, or considerably 
more than one-half of the latter, signed their names with marks. ' I 
have also a personal knowledge of this fact — that of 47 men employed 
upon a railway in this immediate neighbourhood, only 14 men can 
sign their names in the receipt of their wages ; and this not because 
of any diffidence on their part, but positively because they cannot 
write/ And only lately, the Leeds Mercury itself gave a most striking 
instance of ignorance among persons from Boeotian Pudsey: of 12 
witnesses, ' all of respectable appearance, examined before the Mayor 
of Bradford at the court-house there, only one man could sign his 
name, and that indifferently.' Mr. Nelson has clearly shown, in sta- 
tictics of crime in England and Wales from 1834 to 1844, that crime 
is invariably the most prevalent in those districts where the fewest 
numbers in proportion to the population can read and write. Is it 
not indeed beginning at the wrong end to try and reform men after 
they have become criminals ? Yet you cannot begin with children, 
from want of schools. Poverty is the result of ignorance, and then 
ignorance is again the unhappy result of poverty. ' Ignorance makes 
men improvident and thoughtless — women as well as men ; it makes 
them blind to the future — to the future of this life as well as the life 
beyond. It makes them dead to higher pleasures than those of the 

* Lord Ashley informs us that there are 30.000 poor children such as these in 
London alone. 


mere senses, and keeps them down to the level of the mere animal. 
Hence the enormous extent of drunkenness throughout this country, 
and the frightful waste of means which it involves.' At Bilston, amidst 
20,000 people, there are but two struggling schools — one has lately 
ceased ; at Millenhall, Darlaston, and Pelsall, amid a teeming popula- 
tion, no school whatever. In Oldham, among 100,000, but one public 
day-school for the labouring classes ; the others are an infant school, 
and some dame and factory schools. At Birmingham, there are 21,824 
children at school, and 23,176 at no school; at Liverpool, 50,000 out 
of 90,000 at no school ; at Leicester, 8200 out of 12,500 ; and at Leeds 
itself, in 1841, (the date of the latest returns,) some 9G00 out of 16,400, 
were at no school whatever. It is the same in the counties. ' I have 
seen it stated, that a woman for some time had to officiate as clerk in 
a church in Norfolk, there being no adult male in the parish able to 
read and write.' For a population of 17,000,000 we have but twelve 
normal schools ; while in Massachusetts they have three such schools 
for only 800,000 of population." 

Such being the education of the young, we may now look to 
t see how Mr. Kay describes that provided for people of a more 
advanced period of life : — 

" The crowd of low pot-houses in our manufacturing districts is a 
sad and singular spectacle. They are to be found in every street and 
alley of the towns, and in almost every lane and turning of the more 
rural villages of those districts, if any of those villages can be called 

" The habit of drunkenness pervades the masses of the operatives to 
an extent never before known in our country. 

" In a great number of these taverns and pot-houses of the manu- 
facturing districts, prostitutes are kept for the express purpose of 
enticing the operatives to frequent them, thus rendering them doubly 
immoral and pernicious. I have been assured in Lancashire, on the 
best authority, that in one of the manufacturing towns, and that, too, 
about third rate in point of size and population, there are sixty taverns, 
where prostitutes are kept by the tavern landlords, in order to en- 
tice customers into them. Their demoralizing influence upon the 
population cannot be exaggerated ; and yet these are almost the only 
resorts which the operatives have, when seeking amnsement or relaxa- 

"In those taverns where prostitutes are not actually kept for the pur- 
pose of enticing customers, they are always to be found in the even- 
ings, at the time the workmen go there to drink. In London and in 
Lancashire the gin-palaces are the regular rendezvous for the aban- 
doned of both sexes, and the places where the lowest grade of women- 
of-the-town resort to find customers. It is quite clear that young men, 
who once begin to meet their friends at these places, cannot long es- 
cape the moral degradation of these hot-houses of vice. 

"The singular and remarkable difference between the respective con- 
dition of the peasants and operatives of Germany and Switzerland, 


and those of England and Ireland, in this respect, is alone sufficient 
to prove the singular difference between their respective social condi- 

_ " The village inn in Germany is quite a different kind of place to the 
village inn in England. It is intended and used less for mere drink- 
ing, than as a place for meeting and conversation ; it is, so to speak, 
the villagers' club."— Vol. i. 232. 

Under such circumstances, we cannot be surprised when told by 
Mr. Alison that over the whole kingdom crime increases four times 
as fast as the population, and that " in Lancashire population 
doubles in thirty years, crime in five years and a half." How, 
indeed, could it be otherwise under a system based upon the idea 
of " keeping labour down" — one that tends to the consolidation 
of the land and the exclusion of men from the work of cultiva- 
tion, and then excludes them from the factory, while forcing 
hundreds of thousands of indigent and almost starving Irish into 
England in search of employment? The process of M eviction" in 
Ireland has been already described. How the same work has 
been, and is being, performed in England is thus stated by the 
Times : — 

" Our village peasantry are jostled about from cottage to cottage, 
or from cottage to no cottage at all, as freely and with as little re- 
gard to their personal tastes and conveniences as if we were removing 
our pigs, cows, and horses from one sty or shed to another. If they 
cannot get a house over their heads they go to the Union, and are dis- 
tributed — the man in one part, the wife in another, and the children 
again somewhere else. That is a settled thing. Our peasantry bear 
it, or, if they can't bear it, they die, and there is an end of it on this 
side of the grave ; though how it will stand at the great audit, we 
leave an ' English Catholic' to imagine. We only mean to say that 
in England the work has been done ; cotters have been exterminated ; 
small holdings abolished ; the process of eviction rendered superflu- 
ous ; the landlord's word made law ; the refuge of the discontented 
reduced to a workhouse, and all without a shot, or a bludgeon, or a 
missile being heard of." 

Thus driven from the land, they are forced to take refuge in 
London and Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds, and 
accordingly there it is that we find nearly the whole increase of 
population in the last ten years. Out of less than two millions, 
more than 400,000 were added to the number of London alone, 
and those who are familiar with Mr. May hew' s work, London 


Labour and London Poor, do not need to be told of the extraor- 
dinary wretchedness, nor of the immorality that there abound. 
Inquiries set on foot by Lord Ashley have shown that "in the 
midst of that city there are," says Mr. Kay — 

" Persons, forming a separate class, having pursuits, interests, man- 
ners, and customs of their own, and that the filthy, deserted, roam- 
ing, and lawless children, who may be called the source of 19-20ths 
of the crime which desolates the metropolis, are not fewer in number 


" These 30,000 are quite independent of the number of mere pauper 
children, who crowd the streets of Londen, and who never enter a 
school : but of these latter nothing will be said here. 

" Xow, what are the pursuit*, the dwelling-houses, and the habits 
of these poor wretches ? Of 1600, who were examined, 162 confessed 
that they had been in prison, not merely once, or even twice, but some 
of them several times ; 116 had run away from their homes ; 170 slept 
in the " lodging-houses ;" 253 had lived altogether by beggary; 216 
had neither shoes nor stockings ; 280 had no hat or cap, or covering 
for the head ; 101 had no linen ; 249 had never slept in a bed ; many 
had no recollection of ever having been in a bed ; 68 were the children 
of convicts."— Vol. i. 394. 

In the towns of the manufacturing districts there are, says the 
same author — 

" A great number of cellars beneath the houses of the small shop- 
keepers and operatives, which are inhabited by crowds of poor inhabit- 
ants. Each of these cellar-houses contains at the most two, and often, 
and in some towns generally, only one room. These rooms measure, 
in Liverpool, from 10 to 12 feet square. In some other towns they 
are rather larger. They are generally flagged. The flags lie directly 
upon the earth, and are generally wretchedly damp. In wet weather 
they are very often not dry for weeks together. Within a few feet of 
the windows of these cellars, rises the wall which keeps the street 
from falling in upon them, darkening the gloomy rooms, and prevent- 
ing the sun's rays penetrating into them. 

" Dr. Duncan, in describing the cellar-houses of the manufacturing 
districts, says* — ' The cellars are ten or twelve feet square ; generally 
flagged, but frequently having only the bare earth for a floor, and 
sometimes less than six feet in height. There is frequently no win- 
dow, so that light and air can gain access to the cellar only by the 
door, the top of which is often not higher than the level of the street. 
In such cellars ventilation is out of the question. They are of course 
dark ; and from the defective drainage, they are also very generally 
damp. There is sometimes a back cellar, used as a sleeping apart- 
ment, having no direct communication with the external atmosphere, 

* Reports of the Health of Towns Commission, vol. i. 127. 


and deriving its scanty supply of light and air solely from the front 
apartment.'" — Vol. i. 447. 

"One of the city missionaries, describing the state of the Mint 
district in the city of London, says, ' it is utterly impossible to de- 
scribe the scenes, which are to be witnessed here, or to set forth in its 
naked deformity the awful characters sin here assumes. * * * In 
Mint street, alone, there are nineteen lodging-houses. The majority of 
these latter are awful sinks of iniquity, and are used as houses of ac- 
commodation. In some of them, both sexes sleep together indiscrimi- 
nately, and such acts are practised and witnessed, that married per- 
sons, who are in other respects awfully depraved, have been so shock- 
ed, as to be compelled to get up in the night and leave the house. 
Many of the half-naked impostors, who perambulate the streets of 
London in the daytime, and obtain a livelihood by their deceptions, 
after having thrown off their bandages, crutches, &c, may be found 
here in their true character ; some regaling themselves in the most 
extravagant manner ; others gambling or playing cards, while the 
worst of language proceeds from their lips. Quarrels and fights are 
very common, and the cry of murder is frequently heard. The 
public-houses in this street are crowded to excess, especially on the 
Sabbath evening. * 

"In the police reports published in the Sun newspaper of the 11th 
of October, 1849, the following account is given of ' a penny lodging- 
house' in Blue Anchor Yard, Rosemary Lane. One of the policemen 
examined, thus describes a room in this lodging-house : — ' It was a 
very small one, extremely filthy, and there was no furniture of any 
description in it. There were sixteen men, women, and children lying 
on the floor, without covering. Some of them were half naked. For 
this miserable shelter, each lodger paid a penny. The stench was 
intolerable, and the place had not been cleaned out for some time.' 

"If the nightly inmates of these dens are added to the tramps who 
seek lodging in the vagrant-wards of the workhouses, we shall find 
that there are at least between 40,000 and 50,000 tramps who are 
daily infesting our roads and streets !" — Yol. i. 431. 

In the agricultural districts, whole families, husbands and wives, 
sons and daughters, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, sleep to- 
gether, and here we find a source of extraordinary immorality. 
"The accounts we receive," says Mr. Kay — 

" From all parts of the country show that these miserable cottages 
are crowded to an extreme, and that the crowding is progressively 
increasing. People of both sexes, and of all ages, both married and 
unmarried — parents, brothers, sisters, and strangers — sleep in the 
same rooms and often in the same beds. One gentleman tells us of 
six people of different sexes and ages, two of whom were man and 
wife, sleeping in the same bed, three with their heads at the top and 
three with their heads at the foot of the bed. Another tells us of 

* City Mission Magazine, Oct. 1847. 


adult uncles and nieces sleeping in the same room close to each other; 
another of the uncles and nieces sleeping in the same bed together ; 
another of adult brothers and sisters sleeping in the same room with 
a brother and his wife just married; many tell us of adult brothers 
and sisters sleeping in the same beds ; another tells us of rooms so 
filled with beds that there is no space between them, but that bro- 
thers, sisters, and parents crawl over each other half naked in order 
to get to their respective resting-places ; another of its being common 
for men and women, not being relations, to undress together in the 
same room, without any feeling of its being indelicate ; another of 
cases where women have been delivered in bed-rooms crowded with 
men, young women, and children ; and others mention facts of these 
crowded bed-rooms much too horrible to be alluded to. Nor are 
these solitary instances, but similar reports are given by gentlemen 
writing in all parts of the country. 

" The miserable character of the houses of our peasantry is, of it- 
self, and independently of the causes which have made the houses so 
wretched, degrading and demoralizing the poor of our rural districts 
in a fearful manner. It stimulates the unhealthy and unnatural in- 
crease of population. The young peasants from their earliest years 
are accustomed to sleep in the same bed-rooms with people of both 
sexes, and with both married and unmarried persons. They therefore 
lose all sense of the indelicacy of such a life. They know, too, that 
they can gain nothing by deferring their marriages and by saving ; 
that it is impossible for them to obtain better houses by so doing ; and 
that in many cases they must wait many years before they could ob- 
tain a separate house of any sort. They feel that if they defer their 
marriage for ten or fifteen years, they will be at the end of that period 
in just the same position as before, and no better off for their waiting. 
Having then lost all hope of any improvement of their social situa- 
tion, and all sense of the indelicacy of taking a wife home to the bed- 
room already occupied by parents, brothers, and sisters, they marry 
early in life, — often, if not generally, before the age of twenty, — and 
very often occupy, for the first part of their married life, another bed 
in the already crowded sleeping-room of their parents ! In this way 
the morality of the peasants is destroyed ; the numbers of this de- 
graded population are unnaturally increased, and their means of sub- 
sistence are diminished by the increasing competition of their in- 
creasing numbers." — Vol. i. 472. 

A necessary consequence of this demoralization is that infanticide 
prevails to a degree unknown in any other part of the civilized 
world. The London Leader informs its readers that upon a recent 
occasion — 

" It was declared by the coroner of Leeds, and assented to as pro- 
bable by the surgeon, that there were, as near as could be calculated, 
about three hundred children put to death yearly in Leeds alone that 
were not registered by the law. In other words, three hundred infants 



were murdered to avoid the consequences of their living, and these 
murders, as the coroner said, are never detected." 

The reader may now advantageously turn to the account of the 
state of education in Leeds, already given,* with a view to ascer- 
tain the intellectual condition of the women guilty of the foul and 
unnatural crime of child-murder. Doing so, he will find that out 
of eighteen hundred and fifty that were married there were one 
thousand and twenty icho could not sign their names — and this in 
the centre of civilization in the middle of the nineteenth century! 

But a short time since, the Morning Chronicle gave its readers a 
list of twenty-two trials, for child-murder alone, that had been re- 
ported in its columns, and these were stated to be but one-half 
of those that bad taken place in the short period of twenty-seven 
days ! On the same occasion it stated that although English 
ruffianism had u not taken to the knife," it had 

"Advanced in the devilish accomplishment of biting off noses and 
scooping out eyes. Kicking a man to death while he is down," it con- 
tinued, " or treating a wife in the same way — stamping on an enemy 
or a paramour with hobnailed boots — smashing a woman's head with 
a hand-iron — these atrocities, which are of almost daily occurrence in 
our cities, are not so much imputed crimes as they are the extravagant 
exaggerations of the coarse, brutal, sullen temper of an Englishman, 
brutified by ignorance and stupefied by drink." 

On the same occasion the Chronicle stated that in villages few 
young people of the present day marry until, as the phrase is, it 
has " become necessary." It is, it continued, the rural practice to 
11 keep company in a very loose sense, till a cradle is as necessary 
as a ring." On another, and quite recent occasion, the same jour- 
nal furnished its readers with the following striking illustration of 
the state of morals : — 

"In one of the recent Dorsetshire cases, [of child murder,] common 
cause was made by the girls of the county. They attended the trial 
in large numbers ; and we are informed that on the acquittal of the 
prisoner a general expression of delight was perceptible in the court ; 
and they left the assizes town boasting 'that they might now do as 
they liked.' We are then, it seems, with all our boasted civilization, 
relapsing into a barbarous and savage state of society." 

* See page 224, ante*. 


Lest it might be supposed that this condition of things had been 
inherited, the editor stated that — 

" This deplorable state of morals was of comparatively recent growth. 
Old people," he continued, " can often tell the year when the first of 
such eases occurred in their families, and what a sensation of shame 
it then excited ; while they will also tell us that the difficulty now 
is to find a lowly couple in village life with whom the rule of decency 
and Christianity is not the exception. It is a disgraceful fact — and 
one which education, and especially religious education, has to account 
for — that a state of morals has grown up in which it can no longer be 
said that our maidens are given in marriage." 

Infanticide is not, however, confined to the unmarried. Burial 
clubs abound. " In our large provincial towns/' says Mr. Kay — 

" The poor are in the habit of entering their children in what are 
called 'burial clubs.' A small sum is paid every year by the parent, 
and this entitles him to receive from 37. to 57. from the club, on the 
death of the child. Many parents enter their children in several clubs. 
One man in Manchester has been known to enter his child in nineteen 
different clubs. On the death of such a child, the parent becomes 
entitled to receive a large sum of money ; and as the burial of the 
child does not necessarily cost more than 1?., or, at the most, 17. 10s., 
the parent realizes a considerable sum after all the expenses are paid ! 

" It has been clearly ascertained, that it is a common practice 
among the more degraded classes of poor in many of our towns, to 
enter their infants in these clubs, and then to cause their death either 
by starvation, ill-usage, or poison ! What more horrible symptom of 
moral degradation can be conceived? One's mind revolts against it, 
and would fain reject it as a monstrous fiction. But, alas ! it seems 
to be but too true, 

" Mr. Chad wick says, 'officers of these burial societies, relieving 
officers, and others, whose administrative duties put them in communi- 
cation with the lowest classes in these districts,' (the manufacturing 
districts,) 'express their moral conviction of the operation of such 
bounties to produce instances of the visible neglect of children of which 
they are witnesses. They often say, 'You are not treating that child 
properly ; it will not live: is it in the dubV And the answer corre- 
sponds with the impression produced by the sight. - " — Vol. i. 433. 

Commenting on these and numerous other facts of similar kind, 
the same author says— 

i" These accounts are really almost too horrible to be believed at all ; 
and were they not given us on the authority of such great experience 
and benevolence, we should totally discredit them. 

" But, alas, they are only too true ! There can be no doubt, that a great 
part of the poorer classes of this country are sunk into such a frightful 
depth of hoplessness, misery, and utter moral degradation, that even 
mothers forget their affection for their helpless little offspring, and kill 



them, as a butcher does his lambs, in order to make money by the mur- 
der, and therewith to lessen their pauperism and misery f" — P. 446. 

How rapid is the progress of demoralization may be seen from 
the fact that in the thirty years from 1821 to 1851, the consump- 
tion of British spirits increased from 4,125,616 to 9,595,368 gal- 
lons, or in a ratio more than double that of the population. The 
use of opium is also increasing with rapidity.* Intemperance and 
improvidence go hand in hand with each other, and hence arises 
a necessity for burial clubs for the disposal of the children and the 
maintenance of the parents. 

A recent English journal states that — 

" It is estimated that in Manchester there are 1500 ' unfortunate 
females ;' that they lead to an annual expenditure of £470,000 ; and 
that some 250 of them die, in horror and despair, yearly. In England 
it is calculated that there are 40,000 houses of ill-fame, and 280,000 
prostitutes ; and, further, that not less than £8,000,000 are spent an- 
nually in these places." 

This may, or may not, be exaggerated, but the condition to 
which are reduced so many of the weaker sex would warrant us 
in expecting a great decay of morality. When severe labour can- 
not command a sufficiency of food, can we be surprised that women 
find themselves forced to resort to prostitution as a means of support ? 

A committee of gentlemen who had investigated the condition 
of the sewing-women of London made a report stating that no less 
than 33,000 of them were " permanently at the starvation point," 
and were compelled to resort to prostitution as a means of eking 
out a subsistence. But a few weeks since, the Times informed its 
readers that shirts were made for a penny a piece by women 
who found the needles and thread, and the Daily News furnished 
evidence that hundreds of young women had no choice but be- 
tween prostitution and making artificial flowers at twopence a day ! 
Young ladies seeking to be governesses, and capable of giving 
varied instruction, are expected to be satisfied with the wages and 
treatment of scullions, and find it difficult to obtain situations even 
on such terms. It is in such facts as these that we must find the 
causes of those given in the above paragraph. 

* The import of 1850 was 103,718 lbs., and that of 1852, 251,792 lbs. 


If we desire to find the character of the young we must look to 
that of the riged, and especially to that of the mothers. "We see 
here something of the hundreds of thousands of young women who 
are to supply the future population of England; and if the charac- 
ter of the latter be in accordance with that of the former, with 
what hope can we look to the future ? 

Nothing indicates more fully the deterioration resulting from 
this unceasing struggle for life, than the harsh treatment to which 
are subjected persons who need aid in their distress. A case of 
this kind, furnished by the Times, as occurring at the Lambeth 
workhouse, so strongly indicates the decay of kind and generous 
feeling, that, long as it is, it is here given : — 

" A poor creature, a young English girl — to be sure, she is not a 
black — a parcel of drenched rags clinging to her trembling form, every 
mark of agony and despair in her countenance, lifts her hand to the 
bell. She rings once and again, and at length the door-porter appears, 
accompanied by a person holding a situation under the guardians — 
his name is Brooke — and he is a policeman. She is starving, she is 
pregnant, and almost in the pains of labour, but the stern officials will 
not take her in. Why ? Because she had been in the workhouse 
until Tuesday morning last, and had then been discharged by ' order 
of the guardians/ Nor is this all. The tale of parochial bounty is 
not yet half told out. During that long wet Tuesday she wandered 
about. She had not a friend in this great town to whom she could 
apply for the smallest assistance, and on Tuesday night she came back 
to implore once more the kindly shelter of the parish workhouse. For 
yet that night she was taken in, but the next morning cast forth into 
the world again with a piece of dry bread in her hand. On Wednesday 
the same scene was renewed — the same fruitless casting about for food 
and shelter, the same disappointment, and the same despair. But 
parochial bounty can only go thus far, and no farther. Charity her- 
self was worn out with the importunity of this persevering pauper, and 
on Thursday night the doors of the parish workhouse were finally and 
sternly shut in her face. 

"But she was not alone in her sufferings. You might have sup- 
posed that the misery of London — enormous as the amount of London 
misery undoubtedly is — could have shown no counterpart to the fright- 
ful position of this unfortunate creature — without a home, without a 
friend, without a character, without a shelter, without a bite of food — 
betrayed by her seducer, and the mark for the last twelve hours of the 
floodgates of heaven. * * * Can it be there are two of them ? Yes ! 
Another young woman, precisely in the same situation, knocks at the 
same workhouse door, and is refused admittance by the same stern 
guardians of the ratepayers' pockets. The two unfortunates club their 
anguish and their despair together, and set forth in quest of some 
archway or place of shelter, beneath which they may crouch until the 



gas-lamps are put out, and the day breaks once more upon their suffer- 
ings. Well,*on they roamed, until one of the two, Sarah Sherford, was 
actually seized with the pangs of labour, when they resolved to stagger 
back to the workhouse ; but again the door was shut in their faces. 
What was to be done? They were driven away from the house, and 
moved slowly along, with many a pause of agony, no doubt, until they 
met with a policeman, one Daniel Donovan, who directed them to a 
coffee-house where they might hope to get shelter. The coffee-house 
did not open till 2 o'clock, when they had two hours' shelter. But at 
that hour they were again cast out, as the keeper was obliged to come 
into the street with his stall and attend to it. ' At this time (we will 
here copy the language of our report) Sherford's labour pains had con- 
siderably increased, and they again spoke to the same policeman, 
Donovan, and told him that, unless she was taken into the workhouse 
or some other place, she must give birth to her infant in the street.' 
Daniel Donovan accordingly conveyed the two unfortunate creatures 
to the workhouse once more, at 4 o'clock in the morning. ' The police- 
man on duty there/ said this witness, ' told him that they had been 
there before, and seemed to have some hesitation about admitting 
them, but on being told that one was in the pains of labour, he let 
them in.' ;; 

What slavery can be worse than this ? Here are young women, 
women in distress, starving and almost in the pains of labour, driven 
about from post to pillar, and from pillar to post, by day and by 
night, totally unable to obtain the smallest aid. Assuredly it 
would be difficult to find any thing to equal this in any other coun- 
try claiming to rank among the civilized nations of the world. 

At the moment of writing this page, an English journal furnishes 
a case of death from starvation, and closes its account with the fol- 
lowing paragraph, strikingly illustrative of the state of things which 
naturally arises where every man is " trying to live by snatching 
the bread from his neighbour's mouth." 

"It is hardly possible to conceive a more horrible case. A stalwart, 
strong-framed man, in the prime of life — his long pilgrimage of martyr- 
dom from London to Stoney-Stratford — his wretched appeals for help 
to the " civilization" around him — his seven days fast — his brutal 
abandonment by his fellow-men — his seeking shelter and being driven 
from resting-place to resting-place — the crowning inhumanity of the 
person named Slade and the patient, miserable death of the worn-out 
man — are a picture perfectly astonishing to contemplate. 

" No doubt he invaded the rights of property, when he sought shelter 
in the shed and in the lone barn ! ! !" 

The recent developments in regard to Bethlem Hospital are 
thus described : — 


"Some of the cases of cruelty brought to light by the examiners 
are almost too revolting to describe. It appears that the incurables are 
lodged in cells partially under ground, where their only couches are 
troughs filled with straw and covered with a blanket. On these mise- 
rable beds, worse than many a man gives to his horse or dog, the vic- 
tims lie in the coldest weather, without night-clothes, frequently creep- 
ing into the straw in order to keep warm. These poor unfortunates 
also are often fed in a way as disgusting as it is cruel, being laid on 
their backs, and held down by one of the nurses, while another forces 
into the mouth the bread and milk which is their allotted food. This 
revolting practice is adopted to save time, for it was proved on oath 
that patients, thus treated, ate their meals by themselves, if allowed 
sufficient leisure. The imbecile patients, instead of being bathed with 
decency, as humanity and health demands, are thrown on the stone- 
floor, in a state of nudity, and there mopped by the nurses. Such 
things would seem incredible, if they had not been proved on oath. 
Some who were not incurable, having been treated in this manner, ex- 
posed these atrocities, after their recovery ; and the result was an in- 
vestigation, which led to the discovery of the abominable manner in 
which this vast charity has been administered." 

These things are a necessary consequence of an universal trading 
spirit. For the first time in the annals of the world it has been pro- 
claimed in England that the paramount object of desire with the peo- 
ple of a great and Christian nation is to buy cheaply and sell dearly; 
and when men find themselves, in self-defence, compelled to beat 
down the poor sewing-woman to a penny for making a shirt, or the 
poor flower-girl to a scale of wages so low that she must resort to 
prostitution for the purpose of supporting life, they can neither be ex- 
pected to be charitable themselves, nor to tolerate much charity in the 
public officers charged with the expenditure of their contributions. 
There is consequently everywhere to be seen a degree of harshness 
in the treatment of those who have the misfortune to be poor, and 
a degree of contempt in the mode of speech adopted in relation to 
them, totally incompatible with the idea of advance in real civil- 

The facts thus far given rest, as the reader will have seen, on 
the highest English authority. It is scarcely possible to study 
them without arriving at the conclusion that the labouring people 
of England are gradually losing all control over the disposition of 


their own labour — or in other words, that they are becoming enslaved 
— and that with the decay of freedom there has been a decay of mo- 
rality, such as has been observed in every other country similarly 
circumstanced. To ascertain the cause of this we must refer again 
to Adam Smith, who tells us that — 

"No equal quantity of productive labour or capital employed in 
manufacture can ever occasion so great a reproduction as if it were 
employed in agriculture. In these, nature does nothing, man does all, 
and the reproduction must always be proportioned to the strength of 
the agents that occasion it. The capital employed in agriculture, there- 
fore, not only puts into motion a greater quantity of productive labour 
than any equal capital employed in manufacture; but, in proportion, 
too, to the quantity of productive labour which it employs, it adds a 
much greater value to the annual value of the land and labour of the 
country, to the real wealth and revenue of its inhabitants. Of all the 
ways which a capital can be employed, it is by far the most advanta- 
geous to society/' 

This is the starting point of his whole system, and is directly the 
opposite of that from which starts the modern English politico-eco- 
nomical school that professes to follow in his footsteps, as will now 
be shown. The passage here given, which really constitutes the 
base upon which rests the whole structure of Dr. Smith's work, is 
regarded by Mr. McCulloch as "the most objectionable" one in it, 
and he expresses great surprise that "so acute and sagacious a 
reasoner should have maintained a doctrine so manifestly erroneous." 
" So far indeed," says that gentleman — 

" Is it from being true that nature does much for man in agricul- 
ture, and nothing for manufactures, that the met is more nearly the 
reverse. There are no limits to the bounty of nature in manufactures ; 
but there are limits, and those not very remote, to her bounty in agri- 
culture. The greatest possible amount of capital might be expended 
in the construction of steam-engines, or of any other sort of machinery, 
and after they had been multiplied indefinitely, the last would be as 
prompt and efficient in producing commodities and saving labour as 
the first. Such, however, is not the case with the soil. Lands of the 
first quality are speedily exhausted ; and it is impossible to apply capi- 
tal indefinitely even to the best soils, without obtaining from it a con- 
stantly diminishing rate of profit." — Principles of Political Economy. 

The error here results from the general error of Mr. Ricardo's 
system, which places the poor cultivator among the rich soils of the 
swamps and river-bottoms, and sends his rich successors to the 
poor soils of the hills, — being directly the reverse of what has hap- 


pened in every country of the world, in every county in England, 
and on every farm in each and all of those counties.* Had he 
not been misled by the idea of " the constantly increasing sterility 
of the soil/' Mr. McCulloch could not have failed to see that the 
only advantage resulting from the use of the steam-engine, or the 
loom, or any other machine in use for the conversion of the pro- 
ducts of the earth, was, that it diminished the quantity of labour 
required to be so applied, and increased the quantity that might be 
given to the work of production. 

It is quite true that wheelbarrows and carts, wagons and ships, 
may be increased indefinitely ; but of what use can they possibly be, 
unless the things to be carried be first produced, and whence can 
those things be obtained except from the earth ? The grist-mill is 
useful, provided there is grain to be ground, but not otherwise. 
The cotton-mill would be useless unless the cotton was first pro- 
duced. Agriculture must precede manufactures, and last of all, 
says Dr. Smith, comes foreign commerce. J 

The reader has had before him a passage from Mr. J. S. Mill, 
in which that gentleman says that " if the law [of the occupation 
of the land] were different, almost all the phenomena of the pro- 
duction and distribution of wealth would be different from what 
they now are." In the days of Adam Smith it had not yet been 
suggested that men began by the cultivation of rich soils, and then 
passed to poor ones, with constantly diminishing power to obtain 
food. Population, therefore, had not come to be regarded as " a nui- 
sance" to be abated by any measures, however revolting, and im- 
posing upon Christian men the necessity of hardening their hearts, 
and permitting their fellow-men to suffer every extremity of poverty 
and distress " short of absolute death," with a view to bring about 
a necessity for refraining to gratify that natural inclination which 
leads men and women to associate in the manner tending to pro- 
mote the growth of numbers and the development of the best feel- 

* The reader who may desire to see this more fully exhibited is referred to the 
author's work, " The Past, the Present, and the Future." 
f See page 59, ante. 


ings of the human heart. It was then considered right that men and 
women should marry, and increase of population was regarded as 
evidence of increased wealth and strength. Dr. Smith, therefore, 
looked at the affairs of the world as they were, and he saw that the 
production of commodities not only preceded their conversion and 
exchange, but that in the work of production the earth aided man by 
increasing the quantity of things to be consumed; whereas labour ap- 
plied in other ways could change them only in their form or in their 
place, making no addition to their quantity. He, therefore, saw 
clearly that the nearer the spinner and the weaver came to the 
producer of food and wool, the more would be the quantity of food 
and cloth to be divided between them ; and thus was he led to see 
how great an act of injustice it was on the part of his countrymen 
to endeavour to compel the people of the world to send their raw 
materials to them to be converted, at such vast loss of transporta- 
tion. He had no faith in the productive power of ships or wagons. 
He knew that the barrel of flour or the bale of cotton, put into the 
ship, came out a barrel of flour or a bale of cotton, the weight of 
neither having been increased by the labour employed in trans- 
porting it from the place of production to that of consumption. 
He saw clearly that to place the consumer by the side of the pro- 
ducer was to economize labour and aid production, and therefore to 
increase the power to trade. He was, therefore, in favour of the 
local application of labour and capital, by aid of which towns 
should grow up in the midst of producers of food ; and he believed 
that if " human institutions'' had not been at war with the best 
interests of man, those towns would " nowhere have increased be- 
yond what the improvement and cultivation of the territory in 
which they were situated could support." Widely different is all 
this from the system which builds up London, Liverpool, Man- 
chester, and Birmingham, to be the manufacturing centres of the 
world, and urges upon all nations the adoption of a system looking 
directly to their maintenance and increase ! 

Directly opposed in this respect to Dr. Smith, Mr. McCulloch 
has unbounded faith in the productive power of ships and wagons. 
To him— 


" It is plain that the capital and labour employed in carrying com- 
modities from where they are to be produced to where they are to be 
consumed, and in dividing them into minute portions so as to fit the 
wants of consumers, are really as productive as if they were employed 
in agriculture or in manufactures." — Principles, ICG. 

The man who carries the food adds, as he seems to think, as much to 
the quantity to be consumed as did the one who ploughed the ground 
and sowed the seed : and he who stands at the counter measuring 
cloth adds as much to the quantity of cloth as did he who produced 
it. No benefit, in his view, results from any saving of the labour 
of transportation or exchange. He has, therefore, no faith in the 
advantage to be derived from the local application of labour or 
capital. He believes that it matters nothing to the farmer of Ire- 
land whether his food be consumed on the farm or at a distance 
from it — whether his grass be fed on the land or carried to market 
— whether the manure be returned to the land or wasted on the 
road — whether, of course, the land be impoverished or enriched. 
He is even disposed to believe that it is frequently more to the 
advantage of the people of that country that the food there pro- 
duced should be divided among the labourers of France or Italy 
than among themselves.* He believes in the advantage of large 
manufacturing towns at a distance from those who produce the 
food and raw materials of manufacture ; and that perfect freedom 
of trade consists in the quiet submission of the farmers and 
planters of the world to the working of a system which Dr. Smith 
regarded as tending so greatly to " the discouragement of agricul- 
ture," that it was the main object of his work to teach the people 
of Britain that it was not more unjust to others than injurious to 

* "It may be doubted, considering tbe circumstances under which most Irish 
landlords acquired their estates, the difference between their religious tenets and 
those of their tenants, the peculiar tenures under which the latter hold their 
lands, and the political condition of the country, whether their residence would 
have been of any considerable advantage. * * * The question really at 
issue refers merely to the spend hi?/ of revenue, and has nothing to do with the 
improvement of estates ; and notwithstanding all that has been said to the con- 
trary, I am not yet convinced that absenteeism is, in this respect, at all injurious." 
— Principles, 157. 


In a work just issued from the press, Mr. McCulloch tells his 

readers that — 

"For the reasons now stated, a village built in the immediate vicinity 
of a gentleman's seat generally declines on his becoming an absentee. 
That, however, is in most cases any thing but an injury. The inhabit- 
ants of such villages are generally poor, needy dependants, destitute 
of any invention, and without any wish to distinguish themselves. But 
when the proprietors are elsewhere, they are forced to trust to their 
own resources, and either establish some sort of manufacture, or resort 
to those manufacturing and commercial cities where there is always a 
ready demand for labourers, and where every latent spark of genius is 
sure to be elicited. Although, therefore, it be certainly true that ab- 
senteeism has a tendency to reduce the villages which are found in the 
neighbourhood of the residences of extensive proprietors, it is not on 
that account prejudicial to the country at large, but the reverse."* 

It is here seen that the people who own large estates are sup- 
posed to be surrounded by u poor and needy dependants/' who are 
to be stimulated to exertion by the pressure of want, and that this 
pressure is to be produced by the absenteeism of the proprietor. 
We have here the master administering the lash to his poor slave, 
and the only difference between the English master and the Ja- 
maica one appears to be, that absenteeism in the one case forces 
the poor labourer to seek the lanes and alleys of a great city, and 
in the other causes him to be worked to death. The slavery of Ire- 
land, Jamaica, and India is a natural consequence of the absentee- 
ism of the great land-owners ; and the larger the properties, the 
greater must be the tendency to absenteeism, centralization, and 
slavery; and yet Mr. McCulloch assures his readers that 

" The advantage of preserving large estates from being frittered 
down by a scheme of equal division is not limited to its effects on the 
younger children of their owners. It raises universally the standard 
of competence, and gives new force to the springs which set industry 
in motion. The manner of living in great landlords is that in which 
every one is ambitious of being able to indulge ; and their habits of ex- 
pense, though somewhat injurious to themselves, act as powerful incen- 
tives to the ingenuity and enterprise of other classes, who never think 
their fortunes sufficiently ample unless they will enable them to emu- 
late the splendour of the richest landlords ; so that the custom of primo- 
geniture seems to render all classes more industrious, and to augment at 
the same time the mass of wealth and the scale of enj oyment." — Principles. 

* Treatises and Essays on Subjects connected with Economical Policy. 


The modern system tends necessarily to the consolidation of 
land, and the more completely that object can be attained, the 
greater must be "the splendour of the richest landlords," the 
greater the habits of expense among the few, the greater their 
power to absent themselves, the greater the power of the rapa- 
cious middleman or agent, the greater the poverty and squalor of 
" the poor and needy dependants," and the greater the necessity 
for seeking shelter in the cellars of Manchester, the wynds of 
Glasgow, or the brothels of London and Liverpool ; but the larger 
must be the supply of the commodity called " cheap labour." In 
other words, slaves will be more numerous, and masters will be 
more able to decide on what shall be the employment of the la- 
bourer, and what shall be its reward. 

Adam Smith knew nothing of all this. He saw that capital 
was always best managed by its owner, and therefore had no faith 
in a universal system of agencies. He saw that the little pro- 
prietor was by far the greatest improver, and he had no belief in 
the advantage of great farmers surrounded by day-labourers. He 
believed in the advantage of makiDg twelve exchanges in a year in 
place of one, and he saw clearly that the nearer the consumer could 
come to the producer the larger and more profitable would be com- 
merce. He therefore taught that the workman should go to the 
place where, food being abundant, moderate labour would command 
much food. His successors teach that the food should come to the 
place where, men being abundant and food scarce, much labour will 
command little food, and that when population has thus been ren- 
dered superabundant, the surplus should go abroad to raise more 
food for the supply of those they left behind. The one teaches the 
concentration of man, and the local division of labour. The other, 
the dispersion of man, and the territorial division of labour. They 
differ thus in every thing, except that they both use the word free 
trade — but with reference to totally distinct ideas. "With the one, 
Commerce has that enlarged signification which embraces every 
description of intercourse resulting from the exercise of " man's 
natural inclination" for association, while with the other Trade 
has reference to no idea beyond that of the mere pedler who buys 



in the cheapest market and sells in the dearest one. The system 
of the one is perfectly harmonious, and tends toward peace among 
men. The other is a mass of discords, tending toward war among 
the men and the nations of the earth. 

As ordinarily used, the word Commerce has scarcely any signifi- 
cation except that of trade with distant men, and yet that is the 
least profitable commerce that can be maintained, — as the reader may 
satisfy himself if he will reflect that when the miller and the 
farmer are near neighbours they divide between them all the flour 
that is made, whereas, when they are widely separated, a third 
man, the carrier, intervenes between them and takes a large por- 
tion of it, leaving less to be divided between those who raise the 
wheat and those who convert it into flour. The more perfect the 
power of association the greater must be the power to maintain 
commerce, for 'every act of association is an act of commerce, as it 
is proposed now to show, beginning at the beginning, in the family, 
which long precedes the nation. Doing so, we find the husband 
exchanging his services in the raising of food and the materials of 
clothing, for those of his wife, employed in the preparation of food 
for the table, and the conversion of raw materials into clothing, — 
and here it is we find the greatest of all trades. Of all the labour 
employed on the farms and in the farm-houses of the Union, we 
should, could we have an accurate statement, find that the propor- 
tion of its products exchanged beyond their own limits, scarcely 
exceeded one-third, and was certainly far less than one-half, the 
remainder being given to the raising of food and raw materials for 
their own consumption, and the conversion of that food and those 
materials into the forms fitting them for their own uses. 

At the next step we find ourselves in the little community, of 
which the owner of this farm constitutes a portion ; and here we 
find the farmer exchanging his wheat with one neighbour for a day's 
labour — the use of his wagon and his horse for other days of labour — 
his potatoes with a third for the shoeing of his horse, and with a 
fourth for the shoeing of himself and his children, or the making 
of his coat. On one day he or his family have labour to spare, 
and they pass it off to a neighbour to be repaid by him in labour 


on another day. One requires aid in the spring, the other in the 
autumn; one gives a day's labour in hauling lumber, in exchange 
for that of another employed in mining coal or iron ore. Another 
trades the labour that has been employed in the purchase of a 
plough for that of his neighbour which had been applied to the 
purchase of a cradle. Exchanges being thus made on the spot, 
from hour to hour and from day to day, with little or no interven- 
tion of persons whose business is trade, their amount is large, and, 
combined with those of the family, equals probably four-fifths of 
the total product of the labour of the community, leaving not more 
than one-fifth to be traded off with distant men y and this propor- 
tion is often greatly diminished as with increasing population and 
wealth a market is made on the land for the products of the 

This little community forms part of a larger one, styled a nation, 
the members of which are distant hundreds or thousands of miles 
from each other, and here we find difficulties tending greatly to 
limit the power to trade. The man in latitude 40° may have la- 
bour, to sell for which he can find no purchaser, while he who lives 
in latitude 50° is at the moment grieving to see his crop perish on 
the ground for want of aid in harvest. The first may have 
potatoes rotting, and his wagon and horses idle, while the second 
may need potatoes, and have his lumber on his hands for want 
of means of transportation — yet distance forbids exchange between 

Again, this nation forms part of a world, the inhabitants of 
which are distant tens of thousands of miles from each other, and 
totally unable to effect exchanges of labour, or even of commodities, 
except of certain kinds that will bear transportation to distant 
markets. Commerce tends, therefore, to diminish in its amount 
with every circumstance tending to increase the necessity for going 
to a distance, and to increase in amount with every one tending to 
diminish the distance within which it must be maintained. As it 
now stands with the great farming interest of the Union, the pro- 
portions are probably as follows : — 


Exchanges in the family 55 per cent. 

u in the neighbourhood 25 " 

" in the nation 15 u 

" with other nations 5 u 

Total 100 

It will now be obvious that any law, domestic or foreign, tending 
to interfere with the exchanges of the family or the neighbourhood, 
would be of more serious importance than one that should, to the 
same extent, affect those with the rest of the nation, and that one 
which should affect the trade of one part of the nation with another, 
would be more injurious than one which should tend to limit the 
trade with distant nations. Japan refuses to have intercourse with 
either Europe or America, yet this total interdiction of trade with 
a great empire is less important to the farmers of the Union than 
would be the imposition of a duty of one farthing a bushel upon 
the vegetable food raised on their farms to be consumed in their 

The great trade is the home trade, and the greater the tendency 
to the performance of trade at home the more rapid will be the in- 
crease of prosperity, and the greater the power to effect exchanges 
abroad. The reason of this is to be found in the fact that the 
power of production increases with the power of combined exertion, 
and all combination is an exchange of labour for labour, the ex- 
change being made at home. The more exchanges are thus effected 
the smaller is the number of the men, wagons, ships, or sailors em- 
ployed in making them, and the greater the number of persons em- 
ployed in the work of production, with increase in the quantity of 
commodities produced, and the -power to exchange grows with the 
power to produce, while the power to produce diminishes with every 
increase in the necessity for exchange. Again, when the work of ex- 
change is performed at home, the power of combination facilitates 
the disposal of a vast amount of labour that would otherwise be 
wasted, and an infinite number of things that would otherwise have 
no value whatever, but which, combined with the labour that is 
saved, are quite sufficient to make one community rich by com- 
parison with another in which such savings cannot be effected. 


Virginia wastes more labour and more commodities that would 
have value in New England, than would pay five times over for all 
the cloth and iron she consumes. 

Again, the quantity of capital required for effecting exchanges 
tends to diminish as commerce comes nearer home. The ship that 
goes to China performs no more exchanges in a year than the 
canal-boat that trades from city to city performs in a month ; and 
the little and inexpensive railroad car passing from village to village 
may perform almost twice as many as the fine packet-ship t hat- 
has cost ninety or a hundred thousand dollars. "With the exten- 
sion of the home trade, labour and capital become, therefore, more 
productive of commodities required for the support and comfort of 
man, and the wages of the labourer and the profits of the capitalist 
tend to increase, and commerce tends still further to increase. On 
the other hand, with the diminution of the power to effect exchanges 
at home, labour and capital become less productive of commodities; 
the wages of the labourer and the profits of the capitalist tend to 
decrease, and trade tends still further to diminish. All this will be 
found fully exemplified among ourselves on a comparison of the years 
1835-36 with 1841-42, while the contrary and upward tendency is 
exemplified by the years 1845-6 and 7, as compared with 1841-2. 

The fashionable doctrine of our day is, however, that the pros- 
perity of a nation is to be measured by the amount of its trade 
with people who are distant, as manifested by custom-house returDS, 
and not by the quantity of exchanges among persons who live near 
each other, and who trade without the intervention of ships, 
and with little need of steamboats or wagons. If the trade of a 
neighbourhood be closed by the failure of a furnace or a mill, and 
the workman be thus deprived of the power to trade off the labour 
of himself or his children, or the farmer deprived of the power to 
trade off his food, consolation is found in the increased quantity 
of exports — itself, perhaps, the direct consequence of a diminished 
ability to consume at home. If canal-boats cease to be built, the 
nation is deemed to be enriched by the substitution of ocean 
steamers requiring fifty times the capital for the performance of 
the same quantity of exchanges. If the failure of mills and fur- 



naces causes men to be thrown out of employment, the remedy is 
to be found, not in the revisal of the measures that have produced 
these effects, but in the exportation of the men themselves to dis- 
tant climes, thus producing a necessity for the permanent use of ships 
instead of canal-boats, with diminished power to maintain trade, and 
every increase of this necessity is regarded as an evidence of growing 
wealth and power. 

The whole tendency of modern commercial policy is to the sub- 
stitution of the distant market for the near one. England exports 
her people to Australia that they may there grow the wool that 
might be grown at home more cheaply; and we export to California, 
by hundreds of thousands, men who enjoy themselves in hunting 
gold, leaving behind them untouched the real gold-mines — those of 
coal and iron — in which their labour would be thrice more pro- 
ductive. The reports of a late Secretary of the Treasury abound 
in suggestions as to the value of the distant trade. Steam-ships 
were, he thought, needed to enable us to obtain the control of the 
commerce of China and Japan. " "With our front on both oceans 
and the gulf," it was thought, " we might secure this commerce, 
and with it, in time, command the trade of the world." England, 
not to be outdone in this race for " the commerce of the world," 
adds steadily to her fleet of ocean steamers, and the government 
contributes its aid for their maintenance, by the payment of enor- 
mous sums withdrawn from the people at home, and diminishing 
the home market to thrice the extent that it increases the foreign 
one. The latest accounts inform us of new arrangements about to 
be made with a view to competition with this country for the 
passenger traffic to and within the tropics, while the greatest of all 
trades now left to British ships is represented to be the transport 
of British men, women, and children, so heavily taxed at home 
for the maintenance of this very system that they are compelled to 
seek an asylum abroad. In all this there is nothing like freedom 
of trade, or freedom of man; as the only real difference between 
the freeman and the slave is, that the former exchanges himself, his 
labour and his products, while the latter must permit another to do 
it for him. 


Mr. McCulloch regards himself as a disciple of Adam Smith, 
and so does Lord John Russell. We, too, are his disciple, but 
in The Wealth of Nations can find no warrant for the system advo- 
cated by either. The system of Dr. Smith tended to the produc- 
tion of that natural freedom of trade, each step toward which would 
have been attended with improvement in the condition of the people, 
and increase in the power to trade, thus affording proof conclusive 
of the soundness of the doctrine ; whereas every step in the direc- 
tion now known as free trade is attended with deterioration of con- 
dition, and increased necessity for trade, with diminished power to 
trade. Those who profess to be his followers and suppose that 
they are carrying out his principles, find results directly the reverse 
of their anticipations ; and the reason for this may readily be found 
in the fact that the English school of political economists long since 
repudiated the whole of the system of Dr. Smith, retaining of it 
little more than the mere words " free trade." 

The basis of all commerce is to be found in production, and 
therefore it was that Dr. Smith looked upon agriculture, the 
science of production, as the first pursuit of man, and manufactures 
and commerce as beneficial only to the extent that they tended 
to aid agriculture and increase the quantity of commodities to be 
converted or exchanged, preparatory to their being consumed. He 
held, therefore, that the return to labour would be greater in a 
trade in which exchanges could be made once a month than in 
another in which they could only be made once in a year, and he 
was opposed to the system then in vogue, because it had, "in all 
cases," turned trade, 

" From a foreign trade of consumption with a neighbouring, into one 
with a more distant, country; in many cases, from a direct foreign trade 
of consumption, into a round-about one ; and in some cases, from all 
foreign trade of consumption, into a carrying trade. It has in all cases, 
therefore/' he continues, " turned it from a direction in which it would 
have maintained a greater quantity of productive labour, into one in 
which it can maintain a much smaller quantity." 

All this is directly the reverse of what is taught by the modern 
British economists j and we have thus two distinct schools, that 
of Adam Smith and that of his successors. The one taught that 


labour directly applied to production was most advantageous, and 
that by bringing the consumer to take bis place by the side of the 
producer, production and the consequent power to trade would be 
increased. The other teaches, that every increase of capital or 
labour applied to production must be attended with diminished re- 
turn, whereas ships and steam-engines may be increased ad infini- 
tum without such diminution: the necessary inference from which 
is, that the more widely the consumer and the producer are sepa- 
rated, with increased necessity for the use of ships and engines, 
the more advantageously labour will be applied, and the greater 
will be the power to trade. The two systems start from a differ- 
ent base, and tend in an opposite direction, and yet the modern 
school claims Dr. Smith as founder. "While teaching a theory of 
production totally different, Mr. McCulloch informs us that " the 
fundamental principles on which the 'production of wealth depends" 
were established by Dr. Smith, " beyond the reach of cavil or dis- 

The difference between the two schools may be thus illustrated : 
Dr. Smith regarded commerce as forming a true pyramid, thus — 

Exchanges abroad. 

Exchanges at home. 

Conversion into cloth and iron. 

Production of food and other raw materials. 

This is in exact accordance with what we know to be true ; but 
according to the modern school, commerce forms an inverted pyra- 
mid, thus — 

Exchanges with distant men. 

Exchanges at home. 



The difference between these figures is great, but not greater 
than that between two systems, the one of which regards the earth 
as the great and perpetually improving machine to which the labour 
of man may be profitably applied, while the other gives precedence 


to those very minute and perpetually deteriorating portions of it 
which go to the construction of ships, wagons, and steam-engines. 
An examination of these figures will perhaps enable the reader to 
understand the cause of the unsteadiness observed wherever the 
modern system is adopted. 

It will be easy now to see why ft is that the commercial policy 
of England has always been so diametrically opposed to that advo- 
cated by the author of The Wealth of Nations. He saw clearly 
that the man and the easily transported spindle should go to the 
food and the cotton, and that, when once there, they were there 
for ever; whereas the bulky food and cotton might be transported 
to the man and the spindle for a thousand years, and that the ne- 
cessity for transportation in the thousand and first would be as 
great as it had been in the first j and that the more transportation 
was needed, the less food and cloth would fall to the share of both 
producer and consumer. His countrymen denied the truth of this, 
and from that day to the present they have endeavoured to prevent 
the other nations of the world from obtaining machinery of any 
kind that would enable them to obtain the aid of those natural 
agents which they themselves regard as more useful than the earth 
itself. " The power of water," says Mr. McCuiloch — 

" And of wind, which move our machinery, support our ships, and 
impel them over the deep — the pressure of the atmosphere, and the 
elasticity of steam, which enables us to work the most powerful en- 
gines, are they not the spontaneous gifts of nature ? Machinery is 
advantageous only because it gives us the means of pressing some of 
the powers of nature into our service, and of making them perform 
the principal part of what we must otherwise have wholly performed 
ourselves. It navigation, is it possible to doubt that the powers of 
nature — the buoyancy of the water, the impulse of the wind, and the 
polarity of the magnet — contribute fully as much as the labours of the 
sailor to waft our ships from one hemisphere to another? In bleach- 
ing and fermentation the whole processes are carried on by natural 
agents. And it is to the effects of heat in softening and melting me- 
tals, in preparing our food, and in warming our houses, that we owe 
many of our most powerful and convenient instruments, and that 
these northern climates have been made to afford a comfortable habi- 
tation." — Principles, 165. 



This is all most true, but what does it prove in regard to British 
policy? Has not its object been that of preventing the people of 
the world from availing themselves of the vast deposites of iron ore 
and of fuel throughout the earth, and thus to deprive them of the 
power to call to their aid the pressure of the atmosphere and the 
elasticity of steam ? Has it not looked to depriving them of all 
power to avail themselves of the natural agents required in the 
processes of bleaching and fermentation, in softening woods, and 
melting metals, and was not that the object had in view by a dis- 
tinguished statesman, since Chancellor of England, when he said, 
that " the country could well afford the losses then resulting from 
the exportation of manufactured goods, as its effect would be to 
smother in the cradle the manufactures of other nations ?" Has 
not this been the object of every movement of Great Britain since 
the days of Adam Smith, and does net the following diagram re- 
present exactly what would be the state of affairs if she could carry 
into full effect her desire to become "the workshop of the world V 

% « .is 

s — • _- 

C C ~T) 


Mr. McCulloch insists that agriculture is less profitable than 
manufactures and trade, and his countrymen insist that all the 
world outside of England shall be one great farm, leaving to Eng- 
land herself the use of all the various natural agents required in 
manufactures and commerce, that they may remain poor while she 
becomes rich. There is in all this a degree of selfishness not to 
be paralleled, and particularly when we reflect that it involves a 
necessity on the part of all other nations for abstaining from those 


scientific pursuits required for the development of the intellect, and 
which so naturally accompany the habit of association in towns, for 
the purpose of converting the food, the wool, the hides, and the 
timber of the farmer into clothing and furniture for his use. It is 
the policy of barbarism, and directly opposed to any advance in 
civilization, as will be fully seen when we examine into its work- 
ing in reference to any particular trade or country. 

The annual average production of cotton is probably seventeen 
hundred millions of pounds, or less than two pounds per head for 
the population of the world, and certainly not one-tenth of what 
would be consumed could they find means to pay for it, and not 
one-tenth of what would be good for them ; and yet it is a drug, 
selling in India at two and three cents per pound, and command- 
ing here at this moment, notwithstanding the abundance of gold, 
but eight or nine cents, with a certainty that, should we again be 
favoured, as we were a few years since, with a succession of large 
crops, it will fall to a lower point than it ever yet has seen : a state 
of things that could not exist were the people of the world to con- 
sume even one-third as much as would be good for them. Why do 
they not ? Why is it that India, with her hundred millions of po- 
pulation, and with her domestic manufacture in a state of ruin, 
consumes of British cottons to the extent of only sixteen cents per 
head — or little more, probably, than a couple of yards of cloth ? 
To these questions an answer may perhaps be found upon an ex- 
amination of the circumstances which govern the consumption of 
other commodities; for we may be quite certain that cotton obeys 
precisely the same laws as sugar and coffee, wine and wheat. Such 
an examination would result in showing that when a commodity 
is at once produced at or near the place of growth in the form fit- 
ting it for use, the consumption is invariably large ; and that when 
it has to go through many and distant hands before being consumed, 
it is as invariably small. The consumption of sugar on a planta- 
tion is large ; but if it were needed that before being consumed it 
should be sent to Holland to be refined, and then brought back 
again, we may feel well assured that there would not be one pound 
consumed on any given plantation where now there are twenty, or 


possibly fifty. The consumption of cotton on the plantation is 
very small indeed, because, before being consumed, it has to be 
dragged through long and muddy roads to the landing, thence car- 
ried to New Orleans, thence to Liverpool, and thence to Manches- 
ter, after which the cloth has to be returned, the planter receiving 
one bale for every five he sent away, and giving the labour of cul- 
tivating an acre in exchange for fifty, sixty, or eighty pounds of 
its product. If, now, the people who raised the cotton were free 
to call to their aid the various natural agents of whose service it is 
the object of the British system to deprive them, and if, therefore, 
the work of converting it into cloth were performed on the ground 
where it was raised, or in its neighbourhood, is it not clear that the 
consumption would be largely increased ? The people who made 
the cloth would be the consumers of numerous things raised on the 
plantation that are now wasted, while the facility of converting 
such things into cloth would be a bounty on raising them; and 
thus, while five times the quantity of cotton would be consumed, 
the real cost — that is, the labour- cost — would be less than it is for 
the smaller quantity now used. So, too, in India. It may be 
regarded as doubtful if the quantity of cotton to day consumed in 
that country is one-half what it was half a century since — and for 
the reason that the number of people now interposed between the 
consumer and the producer is so great. The consumption of wine 
in France is enormous, whereas here there is scarcely any con- 
sumed; and yet the apparent excess of price is not so great as 
would warrant us in expecting to find so great a difference. 
The real cause is not so much to be found in the excess of price, 
though that is considerable, as in the mode of payment. A peasant 
in France obtains wine in exchange for much that would be wasted 
but for the proximity of the wine-vat, and the demand it makes 
for the labour of himself and others. He raises milk, eggs, and 
chickens, and he has fruit, cabbages, potatoes, or turnips, commo- 
dities that from their bulky or perishable nature cannot be sent to 
a distance, but can be exchanged at home. The farmer of Ohio 
cannot exchange his spare labour, or that of his horses, for wine, 
nor can he pay for it in peaches or strawberries, of which the yield 


of an acre might produce him hundreds of dollars — nor in potatoes 
or turnips, of which he can obtain hundreds of bushels j but he 
must pay in wheat, of which an acre yields him a dozen bushels, 
one-half of which are eaten up in the process of exchange be- 
tween him and the wine-grower. Whenever the culture of the 
grape shall come to be established in that State, and wine shall be 
made at home, it will be found that the gallons consumed will be 
almost as numerous as are now the drops. Look where we may, 
we shall find the same result. Wherever the consumer and the 
producer are brought into close connection with each other, the 
increase of consumption is wonderful, even where there is no re- 
duction in the nominal price ) and wherever they are separated, 
the diminution of consumption is equally wonderful, even where 
there is a reduction of the nominal price — and it is so because the 
facility of exchange diminishes as the distance increases. A man 
who has even a single hour's labour to spare may exchange it with 
his neighbour for as much cotton cloth as would make a shirt; but 
if the labour market is distant, he may, and will, waste daily as 
much time as would buy him a whole piece of cotton cloth, and 
may have to go shirtless while cotton is a drug. When the labour 
market is near, land acquires value and men become rich and free. 
When it is distant, land is of little value and men continue poor 
and enslaved. 

Before proceeding further, it would be well for the reader to 
look around his own neighbourhood, and see how many exchanges 
are even now made that could not be made by people that were 
separated even ten or twenty miles from each other, and how many 
conveniences and comforts are enjoyed in exchange for both labour 
and commodities that would be wasted but for the existence of direct 
intercourse between the parties — and then to satisfy himself if the 
same law which may be deduced from the small facts of a village 
neighbourhood, will not be found equally applicable to the great 
ones of larger communities. 

Having reflected upon these things, let him next look at the 
present condition of the cotton trade, and remark the fact that 



scarcely any of the wool produced is consumed without first tra- 
velling thousands of miles, and passing through almost hundreds 
of hands. The places of production are India, Egypt, Brazil, the 
West Indies, and our Southern States. In the first, the manufac- 
ture is in a state of ruin. In the second, third, and fourth, it has 
never been permitted to have an existence ) and in the last it has 
but recently made an effort to struggle into life, but from month 
to month we hear of the stoppage or destruction of Southern mills, 
and the day is apparently now not far distant when we shall have 
again to say that no portion of the cotton crop can be consumed 
in the cotton-growing region until after it shall have travelled 
thousands of miles in quest of hands to convert it into cloth. 

Why is this ? Why is it that the light and easily transported 
spindle and loom are not placed in and about the cotton fields ? 
The planters have labour, that is now wasted, that would be abun- 
dant for the conversion of half their crops, if they could but bring 
the machinery to the land, instead of taking the produce of the 
land to the machinery. Once brought there, it would be there 
for ever; whereas, let them carry the cotton to the spindle as long 
as they may, the work must still be repeated. Again, why is it 
that the people of India, to whom the world was so long indebted 
for all its cotton goods, have not only ceased to supply distant 
countries, but have actually ceased to spin yarn or make cloth for 
themselves ? Why should they carry raw cotton on the backs of 
bullocks for hundreds of miles, and then send it by sea for thou- 
sands of miles, paying freights, commissions, and charges of all 
kinds to an amount so greatly exceeding the original price, to part 
with sixty millions of pounds of raw material, to receive in exchange 
eight or ten millions of pounds of cloth and yarn ? Is it not clear 
that the labour of converting the cotton into yarn is not one-quar- 
ter as great as was the labour of raising the cotton itself? Never- 
theless, we here see them giving six or eight pounds of cotton for 
probably a single one of yarn, while labour unemployed abounds 
throughout India. Further, Brazil raises cotton, and she has 
spare labour, and yet she sends her cotton to look for the spindle, 


instead of bringing the spindle to look for the cotton, as she might 
so readily do. Why does she so ? The answer to these questions 
is to be found in British legislation, founded on the idea that the 
mode of securing to the people of England the highest prosperity 
is to deprive all mankind, outside of her own limits, of the power to 
mine coal, make iron, construct machinery, or use steam, in aid of 
their efforts to obtain food, clothing, or any other of the necessaries 
of life. This system is directly opposed to that advocated by Adam 
Smith. Xot only, said he, is it injurious to other nations, but it 
must be injurious to yourselves, for it will diminish the productive- 
ness of both labour and capital, and will, at the same time, render 
you daily more and more dependent upon the operations of other 
countries, when you should be becoming more independent of them. 
His warnings were then, as they are now, unheeded ; and from his 
da} T to the present, England has been engaged in an incessant effort 
utterly to destroy the manufactures of India, and to crush every 
attempt elsewhere to establish any competition with her for the pur- 
chase of cotton. The reader will determine for himself if this is 
not a true picture of the operations of the last seventy years. If 
it is, let him next determine if the tendency of the system is not 
that of enslaving the producers of cotton, white, brown, and black, 
and compelling them to carry all their wool to a single market, in 
which one set of masters dictates the price at which they must sell 
the raw material and must buy the manufactured one. Could there 
be a greater tyranny than this ? 

To fully understand the working of the system in diminishing 
the power to consume, let us apply elsewhere the same principle, 
placing in Rochester, on the Falls of the Genesee, a set of corn- 
millers who had contrived so effectually to crush all attempts to 
establish mills in other parts of the Middle States, that no man 
could eat bread that had not travelled up to that place in its most 
bulky form, coming back in its most compact one, leaving at the 
mill all the refuse that might have been applied to the fattening 
of hogs and cattle — and let us suppose that the diagram on the 
following page represented the corn trade of that portion of the 






Now, suppose all the grain of half a dozen States had to make 
its way through such a narrow passage as is above indicated, is it 
not clear that the owners of roads, wagons, and mills would be 
masters of the owners of land ? Is it not clear that the larger the 
crops the higher would be freights, and the larger the charge for 
the use of mills, the smaller would be the price of a bushel of 
wheat as compared with that of a bag of meal ? Would not the 
farmers find themselves to be mere slaves to the owners of a small 
quantity of mill machinery ? That such would be the case, no 
one can even for a moment doubt — nor is it at all susceptible of 
doubt that the establishment of such a system would diminish by 
one-half the consumption of food throughout those States, and also 
the power to produce it, for all the refuse would be fed at and near 
Rochester, and the manure yielded by it would be totally lost to the 
farmer who raised the food. The value of both labour and land 
would thus be greatly diminished. Admitting, for a moment, that 
such a system existed, what would be the remedy ? Would it not be 
found in an effort to break down the monopoly, and thus to establish 
among the people the power to trade among themselves without pay- 
ing toll to the millers of Rochester ? Assuredly it would ) and to 
that end they would be seen uniting among themselves to induce mil- 
lers to come and settle among them, precisely as we see men every 
where uniting to bring schools and colleges to their neighbourhood, 
well assured that a small present outlay is soon made up, even in 
a pecuniary point of view, in being enabled to keep their children 


at home while being educated, instead of sending them abroad, 
there to be boarded and lodged, while food is wasted at home that 
they might eat, and chambers are empty that they might occupy. 
Education thus obtained costs a parent almost literally nothing, 
while that for which a child must go to a distance is so costly 
that few can obtain it. Precisely so is it with food and with 
cloth. The mere labour of converting grain into flour is as 
nothing when compared with that required for its transportation 
hundreds of miles ; and the mere labour required for the conver- 
sion of cotton into cloth is as nothing compared with the charges 
attendant upon its transportation from the plantation to Manchester 
and back again. Commercial centralization looks, however, to 
compelling the planter to pay treble the cost of conversion, in the 
wages and profits of the people employed in transporting and ex- 
changing the cotton. 

Admitting that the grain and flour trade were thus centralized, 
what would be the effect of a succession of large crops, or even 
of a single one ? "Would not the roads be covered with wagons 
whenever they were passable, and even at times when they were 
almost impassable ? Would not every one be anxious to anticipate 
the apprehended fall of prices by being early in the market? 
Would not freights be high ? Would not the farmer, on his arrival 
in Rochester, find that every store-house was filled to overflow- 
ing ? Would not storage be high ? Would he not approach the 
miller cap in hand, and would not the latter receive him with his 
hat on his head ? Assuredly such would be the case, and he 
would hear everywhere of the astonishing extent of u the surplus" 
— of how rapidly production was exceeding consumption — of the 
length of time his grain must remain on hand before it could be 
ground — of the low price of flour, &c. &c. ; — and the result would 
be that the more grain carried to market the less would be carried 
back, and the less he would be able to consume; and at last he 
would arrive at the conclusion that the only effect of large crops 
granted him by the bounty of Heaven was that of enriching the 
miller at his expense, by compelling him to allow more toll for the 
privilege of creeping through the hole provided for him by the 



miller. He would pray for droughts and freshets — for storms and 
frosts — as the only means of escape from ruin. 

The reader may determine for himself if this is not a fair pic- 
ture of the cotton trade ? Do the planters profit by good crops ? 
Assuredly not. The more they send to market the less they re- 
ceive for it. Do they profit by improvements in the transportation 
of their commodity? Certainly not. With the growth of rail- 
roads, cotton has fallen in price, and will not this day command 
on the plantation near as much, per pound, as it did before the rail- 
road was invented. In India, the cost of transportation from the 
place of production to England has fallen in the last forty years 
sevenpence,* and yet the grower of cotton obtains for it one-third 
less than he did before — receiving now little more than two cents, 
when before he had from three to four. Who profits by the re- 
duction of cost of transportation and conversion ? The man who 
keeps the toll-gate through which it passes to the icorld, and who 
opens it only gradually, so as to permit the increased quantity to 
pass through slowly, paying largely for the privilege. That all 
this is perfectly in accordance with the facts of the case must be 
obvious to every reader. The planter becomes rich when crops 
are short, but then the mill-owner makes but little profit. He is 
almost ruined when crops are large, but then it is that the mill- 
owner is enriched — and thus it is that the system produces universal 
discord, whereas under a natural system there would be as perfect 
harmony of national, as there is of individual interests. 

We may now inquire how this would affect the farmers around 
Rochester. The consumption of the Middle States would be 
largely diminished because of the heavy expense of transporting the 
wheat to mill and the flour back again, and this would cause a 
great increase of the surplus for which a market must be else- 
where found. This, of course, would reduce prices, and prevent 
increase, if it did not produce large diminution in the value of 
land. The millers would become millionaires — great men among 
their poorer neighbours — and they would purchase large farms to 

* Chapman, Commerce of India. 


be managed by great farmers, and fine houses surrounded by large 
pleasure-grounds. Land would become everywhere more and 
more consolidated, because people who could do so would fly from a 
country in which such a tyranny existed. The demand for labour 
would diminish as the smaller properties became absorbed. Ilo- 
chester itself would grow, because it would be filled with cheap 
labour from the country, seeking employment, and because there 
would be great numbers of wagoners and their horses to be cared 
for, while porters innumerable would be engaged in carrying 
wheat in one direction and flour in another. Hotels would grow 
large, thieves and prostitutes would abound, and morals would 
decline. From year to year the millers would become greater 
men, and the farmers and labourers smaller men, and step by step 
all would find themselves becoming slaves to the caprices of the 
owners of a little machinery, the whole cost of which would 
scarcely exceed the daily loss resulting from the existence of the 
system. By degrees, the vices of the slave would become more 
and more apparent. Intemperance would grow, and education would 
diminish, as the people of the surrounding country became more de- 
pendent on the millers for food and clothing in exchange for cheap 
grain and cheaper labour. The smaller towns would everywhere de- 
cline, and from day to day the millers w,ould find it more easy so to 
direct the affairs of the community as to secure a continuance of 
their monopoly. Local newspapers would pass away, and in their 
stead the people throughout the country would be supplied with 
the Rochester Times, which would assure the farmers that cheap 
food tended to produce cheaper labour, and the land-owners that 
if they did not obtain high rents it was their own fault, the defect 
being in their own bad cultivation — and the more rapid the aug- 
mentation of the millers' fortunes, and of the extent of their plea- 
sure-grounds, the greater, they would be assured, must be the 
prosperity of the whole people, even although the same paper 
might find itself obliged to inform its readers that the overgrown 
capital presented it as 

"A strange result of the terrible statistics of society, that there was 
upon an average one person out of twenty of the inhabitants of the 


luxurious metropolis every day destitute of food and employment, and 
every night without a place for shelter or repose V — London Times. 

"We have here slavery at home as a consequence of the determi- 
nation to subject to slavery people abroad. With each step in the 
growth of the millers' fortunes, and of the splendour of their resi- 
dences, land would have become consolidated and production would 
have diminished, and the whole population would have tended more 
and more to become a mass of mere traders, producing nothing 
themselves, but buying cheaply and selling dearly, and thus deriv- 
ing their support from the exercise of the power to tax the unfortu- 
nate people forced to trade with them ; a state of things in the 
highest degree adverse to moral, intellectual, or political improve- 

The reader may now turn to the extracts from Mr. McCulloch's 
works already given, (page 240 ante,) and compare with them this 
view of the effects of supposed commercial centralization on this 
side of the Atlantic. Doing so, he will find it there stated that it 
is to the consolidation of the land, and to the luxury of the style of 
living of the great landlords, surrounded, as they " in most cases" 
are, by " poor and needy dependants," whose necessities finally com- 
pel them to seek in large cities a market for their own labour, 
and that of their wives and children, that we are to look for an 
augmentation of " the mass of wealth and the scale of enjoyment V 
Modern British political economy holds no single idea that is in 
harmony with the real doctrines of Adam Smith, and yet it 
claims him as its head ! 

The reader is requested now to remark — 

I. That the system of commercial centralization sought to be es- 
tablished by Great Britain is precisely similar to the one here as- 
cribed to the millers of Rochester, with the difference only, that it 
has for its object to compel all descriptions of raw produce to pass 
through England on its way from the consumer and the producer, 
even when the latter are near neighbours to each other, and England 
distant many thousand of miles from both. 


II. That to carry out that system it was required that all other 
nations should be prevented from obtaining either the kuowledge or 
the machinery required for enabling them cheaply to mine coal, 
smelt iron ore, or manufacture machines by aid of which they 
could command the services of the great natural agents whose 
value to man is so well described by Mr. McCulloch. (See page 
249 ante.) 

III. That this was at first accomplished by means of prohibitions, 
and that it is now maintained by the most strenuous efforts for 
cheapening labour, and thus depriving the labourer at home of the 
power to determine for whom he will work or what shall be his 

IV. That the more perfectly this system can be carried out, the 
more entirely must all other nations limit themselves, men, women 
and children, to the labour of the field, and the lower must be the 
standard of intellect. 

V. That while the number of agriculturists in other countries 
must thus be increased, the power to consume their own products 
must be diminished, because of the great increase of the charges 
between the producer and the consumer. 

VI. That this, in turn, must be attended with an increase in the 
quantity of food and other raw materials thrown on the market of 
Britain, with great increase in the competition between the foreign 
and domestic producers for the possession of that market, and great 
diminution of prices. 

VII. That this tends necessarily to " discourage agriculture" in 
Britain, and to prevent the application of labour to the improve- 
ment of the land. 

VIII. That it likewise tends to the deterioration of the condition 
of the foreign agriculturist, who is thus deprived of the power to 
improve his land, or to increase the quantity of his products. 

IX. That the smaller the quantity of commodities produced, the 
less must be the power to pay for labour, and the less the compe- 
tition for the purchase of the labourer's services. 

X. That with the decline in the demand for labour, the less 
must be the power of consumption on the part of the labourer, 


the greater must be the tendency to a glut of foreign and 
domestic produce in the general market of the world, and the 
greater the tendency to a further diminution of the labourer's 

XI. That the greater the quantity of raw produce seeking to 
pass through the market of England, the greater must be the tend- 
ency to a decline in the value of English land, and the larger the 
charges of the owners of the mills, ships, and shops, through 
which the produce must pass, and the greater their power of accu- 
mulation, at the cost of both labour and land. 

XII. That the less the labour applied to the improvement of 
the soil, the more must the population of the country be driven 
from off the land, the greater must be the tendency of the latter 
toward consolidation, and the greater the tendency toward absentee- 
ism and the substitution of great farmers and day-labourers for 
small proprietors, with further decline in production and in the de- 
mand for labour. 

XIII. That with the reduction of the country population, local 
places of exchange must pass away ; and that labour and land must 
decline in power as ships, mills, and their owners become more 
united and more powerful. 

XIY. That the tendency of the whole system is, therefore, to- 
ward diminishing the value and the power of land, and toward 
rendering the labourer a mere slave to the trading community, 
which obtains from day to day more and more the power to impose 
taxes at its pleasure, and to centralize in its own hands the direc- 
tion of the affairs of the nation ; to the destruction of local self- 
government, and to the deterioration of the physical, moral, intel- 
lectual, and political condition of the people. 

In accordance with these views, an examination of the productive 
power of the United Kingdom should result in showing that pro- 
duction has not kept pace with population; and that such had been 
the case we should be disposed to infer from the increasing demand 
for cheap labour, and from the decline that has unquestionably 
taken place in the control of the labourer over his own operations. 
That the facts are in accordance with this inference the reader may 


perhaps be disposed to admit after having examined carefully the 
following figures. 

In 1815, now thirty-eight years since, the declared value of the 
exports of the United Kingdom, of British produce and manufac- 
ture, was as follows : — 

Of woollen manufactures £9,381,426 

" cotton " 20,620,000 

" silk " 622,118 

" linen « 1,777,563 

And of other commodities 19,231,68-4 

Total 51,632,791 

In the same year there were imported of 

Grain 267,000 quarters. 

Flour 202,000 cwts. 

Butter 125,000 " 

Cheese 106,000 " 

Wool 13,634,000 lbs. 

Cotton 99,306,000 " 

Silk 1,807,000 « 

Flax 41,000,000 " 

If to the raw cotton, wool, silk, and flax that were re-exported 
in a manufactured state, and to the dyeing materials and other 
articles required for their manufacture, we now add the whole 
foreign food, as above shown, we can scarcely make, of foreign com- 
modities re-exported, an amount exceeding twelve, or at most thir- 
teen millions, leaving thirty-eight millions as the value of the 
British produce exported in that year ; and this divided among the 
people of the United Kingdom would give nearly £2 per head. 
In 1851 the exports were as follows : — 

Manufactures of wool £10,314,000 

" cotton 30,078,000 

" silk 1,329,000 

" flax 5,048,000 

All other commodities : 21,723,569 

Total £68,492,569 

We see thus that nearly the whole increase that had taken place 
in the long period of thirty-six years was to be found in four 
branches of manufacture, the materials of which were wholly drawn 
from abroad, as is shown in the following statement of imports for 
that year : — 


Wool 83,000,000 lbs. 

Cotton 700,000,000 " 

Silk 5,020,000 " 

Flax 135,000,000 " 

Eggs 115,000,000 

Oxen, cows, calves, 
sheep, hogs, &c... 300,000 

Corn 8,147,675 qrs. 

Flour 5,384,552 cwts. 

Potatoes 635,000 " 

Provisions 450,000 * 

Butter 354,000 " 

Cheese 338,000 " 

Hams and lard. 130,000 " 

The wool imported was more than was required to produce the 
cloth exported, and from this it follows that the whole export re- 
presented foreign wool. The cotton, silk, flax, dyeing-materials, 
&c. exported were all foreign, and the food imported was adequate, 
or nearly so, to feed the people who produced the goods exported. 
Such being the case, it would follow that the total exports of British 
and Irish produce could scarcely have amounted to even £15,000,000, 
and it certainly could not have exceeded that sum — and that would 
give about 10s. per head, or one-fourth as much as in 1815. 

The difference between the two periods is precisely the same as 
that between the farmer and the shoemaker. The man who, by the 
labour of himself and sons, is enabled to send to market the equi- 
valent of a thousand bushels of wheat, has first fed himself and 
them, and therefore he has the ichole 'proceeds, of hi3 sales to apply 
to the purchase of clothing, furniture, or books, or to add to his 
capital. His neighbour buys food and leather, and sells shoes. He 
has been fed, and the first appropriation to be made of the proceeds 
of his sales is to buy more food and leather ; and all he has to ap- 
ply to other purposes is the difference between the price at which he 
buys and that at which he sells. Admitting that difference to be 
one-sixth, it would follow that his sales must be six times as large 
to enable him to have the same value to be applied to the purchase 
of other commodities than food, or to the increase of his capital. 
Another neighbour buys and sells wheat, or shoes, at a commission 
of five per cent., out of which he has to be fed. To enable him to 
have an amount of gross commissions equal to the farmer's sales, 
he must do twenty times as much business ; and if we allow one- 
half of it for the purchase of food, he must do forty times as much 
to enable him to have the same amount with which to purchase 
other commodities, or to increase his capital. Precisely so is it 


with a nation. When it sells its own food and leather, it lias fid 
itse&fj and may dispose as it will of the whole amount of sales. 
When it buys food and leather, and sells shoes, it has ben fed, and 
must first pay the producers of those commodities; and all that it can 
appropriate to the purchase of clothing or furniture, or to the in- 
crease of its capital, is the difference; and, to enable it to have the 
same amount to be so applied, it must sell six times as much in value. 
When it acts as a mere buyer and seller of sugar, cotton, cloth, or 
shoes, it has to he fed out of the differences, and then it may re- 
quire forty times the amount of sales to yield the same result. 

These things being understood, we may now compare the two 
years above referred to. In the first, 1815, the sales of domestic 

produce amounted to £38,600,000 

And if to this we add the difference on £13,000,000. 2,166,667 
We obtain the amount applicable to the purchase of 

other commodities than food £40,766,667 

In the second, 1851, the sales of domestic produce 

were..... £15,000,000 

To which add differences on £53,492,000, say 9,000,000 

We_ have, as applicable to other purposes than the 

purchase of food £24,000,000 

Divided among the population of those years, it gives £2 per head 
in the first, and 16s. in the other; but even this, great as it is, 
does not represent in its full extent the decline that has taken 
place. The smaller the change of form made in the commodity 
imported before exporting it, the more nearly does the business 
resemble that of the mere trader, and the larger must be the quan- 
tity of merchandise passing, to leave behind the same result. In 
1815, the export of yarn of any kind was trivial, because other 
countries were then unprovided with looms. In 1851 the export 
of mere yarn, upon which the expenditure of British labour had 
been only that of twisting it, was as follows : — 

Cotton 144,000,000 lbs. 

Linen 19,000,000 " 

Silk 390,000 lbs. 

Woollen.... 14,800,000 " 

The reader will readily perceive that in all these cases the foreign 
raw material bears a much larger proportion to the value than would 



have been the case had the exports taken place in the form of cloth. 
An examination of these facts can scarcely fail to satisfy him how 
deceptive are any calculations based upon statements of the amount 
of exports and imports ; and yet it is to them we are always re- 
ferred for evidence of the growing prosperity of England. With 
every year there must be an increasing tendency in the same direc- 
tion, as the manufacturers of India are more and more compelled to 
depend on England for yarn, and as the nations of Europe become 
more and more enabled to shut out cloth and limit their imports to 
yarn. From producer, England has become, or is rapidly becoming, 
a mere trader, and trade has not grown to such an extent as was re- 
quired to make amends for the change. She is therefore in the posi- 
tion of the man who has substituted a trade of a thousand dollars 
a year for a production of five hundred. In 1815, the people 
of the United Kingdom had to divide among themselves, then 
twenty millions in number, almost forty millions, the value of 
their surplus products exported to all parts of the earth. In 1851, 
being nearly thirty millions in number, they had to divide only 
fifteen millions, whereas had production been maintained, it should 
have reached sixty millions, or almost the total amount of exports. 
In place of this vast amount of products for sale, they had only the 
differences upon an excess trade of £40,000,000, and this can 
scarcely be estimated at more than eight or ten, toward making up 
a deficit of forty-five millions. Such being the facts, it will not 
now be difficult for the reader to understand why it is that there 
is a decline in the material and moral condition of the people. 

How this state of things has been brought about is shown by 
the steady diminution in the proportion of the population engaged 
in the work of production. Adam Smith cautioned his countrymen 
that "if the whole surplus produce of America in grain of all 
sorts, salt provisions, and fish," were " forced into the market of 
Great Britain," it would " interfere too much with the prosperity 
of our own people." He thought it would be a "great discourage- 
ment to agriculture." And yet, from that hour to the present, no 
effort has been spared to increase in all the nations of the world 
the surplus of raw produce, to be poured into the British market, 


and thus to produce competition between the producers abroad and 
the producers at home, to the manifest injury of both. The more 
the linen manufacture, or those of wool, hemp, or iron, could be 
discouraged abroad, the greater was the quantity of raw products 
to be sent to London and Liverpool, and the less the inducement for 
applying labour to the improvement of English land. For a time, 
this operation, so far as regarded food, was restrained by the corn- 
laws ; but now the whole system is precisely that which was repro- 
bated by the most profound political economist that Britain has 
ever produced. Its consequences are seen in the following figures : 
— In 1811, the proportion of the population of England engaged 
in agriculture was 35 per cent. In 1841 it had fallen to 25 per 
cent., and now it can scarcely exceed 22 per cent., and even in 1841 
the actual number was less than it had been thirty years before.* 

Thus driven out from the land, Englishmen had to seek other 
employment, while the same system was annually driving to Eng- 
land tens of thousands of the poor people of Scotland and Ireland; 
and thus forced competition for the sale in England of the raw 
products of the earth produced competition there for the sale of 
labour j the result of which is seen in the fact that agricultural 
wages have been from Qs. to 9s. a week, and the labourer has be- 
come from year to year more a slave to the caprices of his employer, 
whether the great farmer or the wealthy owner of mills or furnaces. 

* During all this time there was a large increase in the import of food from 
Ireland ; and this, of course, constituted a portion of domestic produce exported 
in the shape of manufactures, the whole proceeds of which were to be retained at 
home. Since 1846, the change in that country has been so great that she is now 
a large importer of foreign grain. The official return for 1849 shows a diminu- 
tion in the quantity raised, as compared with 1844, of no less than 9,304,607 
quarters ; and instead of sending to England, as she had been accustomed to do, 
more than three millions of quarters, she was an importer in that year and the 
following one of more than a million. This deficiency had to be made up from 
abroad, and thus was the United Kingdom transformed from the position of seller 
of four or five millions of quarters — say about 40 millions of our bushels — of which 
it retained the whole proceeds, to that of the mere shopkeeper, who retains only 
the profit on the same quantity. A similar state of things might be shown in 
regard to many of the other articles of produce above enumerated. 


The total population of the United Kingdom dependent upon agri- 
culture cannot be taken at more than ten millions ; and as agricul- 
tural wages cannot be estimated at a higher average than 5s. per week, 
there cannot be, including the earnings of women, more than 6s. 
per family ; and if that be divided among four, it gives Is. 6c7. per 
head, or £3 18s. per annum, and a total amount, to be divided 
among ten millions of people, of 40 millions of pounds, or 192 
millions of dollars. In reflecting upon this, the reader is requested 
to bear in mind that it provides wages for every week in the year, 
whereas throughout a considerable portion of the United Kingdom 
very much of the time is unoccupied. 

Cheap labour has, in every country, gone hand in hand with 
cheap land. Such having been the case, it may not now be diffi- 
cult to account for the small value of land when compared with 
the vast advantages it possesses in being everywhere close to a 
market in which to exchange its raw products for manufactured 
ones, and also for manure. The reader has seen the estimate of 
M. Thunen, one of the best agriculturists of Germany, of the 
vast difference in the value of land in Mecklenburgh close to 
market, as compared with that distant from it j but he can every- 
where see for himself that that which is close to a city will com- 
mand thrice as much rent as that distant twenty miles, and ten 
times as much as that which is five hundred miles distant. Now, 
almost the whole land of the United Kingdom is in the condition 
of the best of that here described. The distances are everywhere 
small, and the roads are, or ought to be, good ; and yet the total 
rental of land, mines, and minerals, is but £55,000,000, and this 
for an area of 70 millions of acres, giving an average of only 
about 83.60 per acre, or $9 — less than £2 — per head of the 
population. This is very small indeed, and it tends to show to 
how great an extent the system must have discouraged agri- 
culture. In 1815, with a population of only twenty millions, the 
rental amounted, exclusive of houses, mines, minerals, fisheries, &c, 
to fifty-two and a half millions, and the exports of the produce of 
British and Irish land were then almost three times as great as 


they are now, with a population almost one half greater than it 
was then. 

The very small value of the land of the United Kingdom, when 
compared with its advantages, can be properly appreciated by the 
reader only after an examination of the course of things elsewhere. 
The price of food raised in this country is dependent, almost entirely, 
on what can be obtained for the very small quantity sent to Eng- 
land. "Mark Lane," as it is said, "governs the world's prices." 
It does govern them in Xew York and Philadelphia, where 
prices must be as much below those of London or Liverpool as 
the cost of transportation, insurance, and commissions, or there 
could be no export. Their prices, in turn, govern those of Ohio 
and Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois, which must always be as 
much below those of New York as the cost of getting the pro- 
duce there. If, now, we examine into the mere cost of transport- 
ing the average produce of an acre of land from the farm to the 
market of England, we shall find that it would be far more than 
the average rental of English land ; and yet that rental includes 
coal, copper, iron, and tin mines that supply a large portion of the 

Under such circumstances, land in this country should be of 
very small value, if even of any ; and yet the following facts tend 
to show that the people of Massachusetts, with a population of 
only 994,000, scattered over a surface of five millions of acres, 
with a soil so poor that but 2,133,000 are improved, and possessed 
of no mines of coal, iron, tin, lead, or copper, have, in the short 
period they have occupied it, acquired rights in land equal, per 
acre, to those acquired by the people of England in their fer- 
tile soils, with their rich mines, in two thousand years. The cash 
value of the farms of that State in 1850 was 8109,000,000, which, 
divided over the whole surface, would give 822 per acre, and this, 
at six per cent., would yield 81.32. Add to this the difference 
between wages of four, six, and eight shillings per week in the 
United Kingdom, and twenty or twenty-five dollars per month in 
Massachusetts, and it will be found that the return in the latter i3 
quite equal to that in the former ; and yet the price of agricultural 



produce generally, is as much below that of England as the cost of 
freight and commission, which alone are greater than the whole 
rent of English land. 

New York has thirty millions of acres, of which only twelve 
millions have been in any manner improved ; and those she has 
been steadily exhausting, because of the absence of a market on or 
near the land, such as is possessed by England. She has neither 
coal nor other mines of any importance, and her factories are few 
in number ; and yet the cash value of farms, as returned by the 
Marshal, was 554 millions of dollars, and that was certainly less 
than the real value. If we take the latter at 620 millions, it will 
gives 850 per acre for the improved land, or an average of 820 for 
all. Taking the rent at six per cent, on 850, we obtain 83 per 
acre, or nearly the average of the United Kingdom ; and it would 
be quite reasonable to make the mines and minerals of the latter a 
set-off against the land that is unimproved. 

If the reader desire to understand the cause of the small value 

of English land when compared with its vast advantages, he may 

find it in the following passage : — 

"Land-owners possess extensive territories which owe little or no- 
thing to the hand of the improver ; where undeveloped sources of pro- 
duction lie wasting and useless in the midst of the most certain and 
tempting markets of the vast consuming population of this country." 
— Economist, London. 

Unfortunately, however, those markets are small, while the tend- 
ency of the whole British system is toward converting the entire 
earth into one vast farm for their supply, and thus preventing the 
application of labour to the improvement of land at home. The 
tendency of prices, whether of land, labour, or their products, is 
toward a level, and whatever tends to lessen the price of any of 
those commodities in Ireland, India, Virginia, or Carolina, tends 
to produce the same effect in England j and we have seen that 
such is the direct tendency of English policy with regard to the 
land of all those countries. With decline in value, there must 
ever be a tendency to consolidation, and thus the policy advocated 
by the Economist produces the evil of which it so much and so 
frequently complains. 


The profits of farmers are generally estimated at half the 
rental, which would give for a total of rents and profits about 85 
millions, and if to this be added the wages of agricultural labour, 
we obtain but about 125 millions, of which less than one-third 
goes to the labourer.* We have here the necessary result of conso- 
lidation of land — itself the result of an attempt to compel the whole 
people of the world to compete with each other in a single and 
limited market for the sale of raw produce. With every increase of 
this competition, the small proprietor has found himself less and less 
able to pay the taxes to which he was subjected, and has finally 
been obliged to pass into the condition of a day-labourer, to compete 
with the almost starving Irishman, or the poor native of Scotland, 
driven into England in search of employment ; and hence have 
resulted the extraordinary facts that in many parts of that country, 
enjoying, as it does, every advantage except a sound system of 
trade, men gladly labour for six shillings (81.44) a week; that 
women labour in the fields ; and that thousands of the latter, des- 
titute of a change of under-clothing, are compelled to go to bed 
while their chemises are being washed. f 

driven from the land by the cheap food and cheap labour of 
Ireland, the English labourer has to seek the town, and there he 
finds himself at the mercy of the great manufacturer; and thus, 

* In 1834, Mr. McCulloch estimated the produce of the land of Great Britain 
at 146 millions, but at that time wheat was calculated at 50s. a quarter, or almost 
one-half more than the average of the last two or three years. Other and larger 
calculations may readily be found; but it would be difficult to determine what 
becomes of the product if it be not found in rent, farmers' profits, or labourers' » 

f By reference to the report of the Assistant Commissioner, charged with the 
inquiry into the condition of women and children employed in agriculture, it will 
be seen that a change of clothes seems to be out of the question. The upper 
parts of the under-clothes of women at work, even their stays, quickly become 
wet with perspiration, while the lower parts cannot escape getting equally wet in 
nearly every kind of work in which they are employed, except in the driest wea- 
ther. It not unfrequently happens that a woman, on returning from work, is 
obliged to go to bed for an hour or two to allow her clothes to be dried. It is 
also by no means uncommon for her, if she does not do this, to put them on again 
the next morning nearly as wet as when she took them off. 


betvreen the tenant-farmer on the one hand, and the large capital- 
ist on the other, he is ground as between the upper and the nether 
millstone. The result is seen in the facts heretofore given. He 
loses gradually all self-respect, and he, his wife, and his children 
become vagrants, and fall on the public for support. Of the wan- 
dering life of great numbers of these poor people some idea may 
be formed from the following statement of Mr. Mayhew : — * 

"I happened to be in the country a little time back, and it astonished 
me to find, in a town with a population of 20,800, that no less than 
11,000 vagabonds passed through the town in thirteen weeks. We 
have large classes known in the metropolis as the people of the 

It will, however, be said that if cheap corn tend to drive him 
from employment, he has a compensation in cheaper sugar, cotton, 
coffee, rum, and other foreign commodities — and such is undoubtedly 
the case ; but he enjoys these things at the cost of his fellow-la- 
bourers, black, white, and brown, in this country, the West Indies, 
India, and elsewhere. The destruction of manufactures in this 
country in 1815 and 1816 drove the whole population to the rais- 
ing of food, tobacco, and cotton ; and a similar operation in India 
drove the people of that country to the raising of rice, indigo, su- 
gar, and cotton, that must go to the market of England, because of 
the diminution in the domestic markets for labour or its products. 
The diminished domestic consumption of India forces her cotton into 
the one great market, there to compete with that of other countries, 
and to reduce their prices. It forces the Hindoo to the Mauritius, 
to aid in destroying the poor negroes of Jamaica, Cuba, and Brazil j 
but the more the sugar and cotton that must go to the distant market, 
the higher will be the freights, the lower will be the prices, the larger 
will be the British revenue, the greater will be the consumption, 
and the greater will be the " prosperity" of England, but the more 
enslaved will be the producers of those commodities. Compe- 
tition for their sale tends to produce low prices, and the more the 
people of the world, men, women, and children, can be limited to 
agriculture, the greater must be the necessity for dependence on 

* London Labour and London Poor. 


England for cloth and iron, the higher will be their prices, and the 
more wretched will be the poor labourer everywhere. 

The reader may perhaps understand the working of the system 
after an examination of the following comparative prices of com- 
modities : — 

1815. 1852. 

England sells — 

Bar iron, per ton .... £13 5s. Od £9 O.s. Od. 

Tin, percwt 7 5 2 

Copper " 6 5 5 10 

Lead " 16 6 14 

England buys — 

Cotton, per lb 16 6 

Sugar, per cwt 3 10 

While these principal articles of raw produce have fallen to one- 
third of the prices of 1815, iron, copper, tin, and lead, the commo- 
dities that she supplies to the world, have not fallen more than 
twenty-five per cent. It is more difficult to exhibit the changes 
of woven goods, but that the planters are constantly giving more 
cotton for less cloth will be seen on an examination of the follow- 
ing facts in relation to a recent large-crop year, as compared with 
the course of things but a dozen years before. From 1830 to 
1835, the price of cotton here was about eleven cents, which we 
may suppose to be about what it would yield in England, free of 
freight and charges. In those years our average export was about 
320,000,000, yielding about $35,000,000, and the average price 
of cotton cloth, per piece of 24 yards, weighing 5 lbs. 12 oz., was 
7s. 10d., ($1.88,) and that of iron £6 10s. ($31.20.) Our exports 
would therefore have produced, delivered in Liverpool, 18,500,000 
pieces of cloth, or about 1,100,000 tons of iron. In 1845 and 
1846, the home consumption of cotton by the people of England was 
almost the same quantity, say 311,000,000 pounds, and the average 
price here was 6h cents, making the product 820,000,000. The 
price of cloth then was 6s. 6jd,, (S1.57J,) and that of iron about 
£10, ($48 ;) and the result was, that the planters could have, for 
nearly the same quantity of cotton, about 12,500,000 pieces of 
cloth, or about 420,000 tons of iron, also delivered in Liverpool. 


Dividing the return between the two commodities; it stands 
thus : — 

Average from 1830 to 1835. 1845-6. Loss. 

Cloth, pieces 9,250,000 6,250,000 3,000,000 

Andiron, tons 550,000 210,000 340,000 

The labour required for converting cotton into cloth had been 
greatly diminished, and yet the proportion retained by the manu- 
facturers had greatly increased, as will now be shown : — 

Weight of Cotton given Retained by the 

Weight of Cotton used. to the planters. manufacturers. 

1830 to 1835.... 320,000,000 110,000,000 210,000,000 

1845 and 1846.. 311,000,000 74,000,000 237,000,000 

In the first period, the planter would have had 34 per cent, of his 
cotton returned to him in the form of cloth, but in the second only 
24 per cent. The grist miller gives the farmer from year to year 
a larger proportion of the product of his grain, and thus the latter 
has all the profit of every improvement. The cotton miller gives 
the planter from year to year a smaller proportion of the cloth pro- 
duced. The one miller comes daily nearer to the producer. The 
other goes daily farther from him, for with the increased product 
the surface over which it is raised is increased. 

How this operates on a large scale will now be seen on an ex- 
amination of the following facts : — The declared or actual value of 
exports of British produce in manufactures in 1815 was £51,632,971 
And the quantity* of foreign merchandise retained for 

consumption in that year was £17,238,841 

This shows, of course, that the prices of the raw products of the 
earth were then high by comparison with those of the articles that 
Great Britain had to sell. 

In 1849, the value of British exports was £63,596,025 

And the quantity of foreign merchandise retained for 

consumption was no less than £80,312,717 

We see thus that while the value of exports had increased 

* The returns of imports into Great Britain are given according to an official 
value established more than a century since, and thus the sum of the values is 
an exact measure of the quantities imported. 


only one-fourth, the produce received in exchange was almost 
Jive times greater ; and here it is that we find the effect of that 
unlimited competition for the sale in England of the raw pro- 
ducts of the world, and limited competition for the purchase of 
the manufactured ones, which it is the object of the system to 
establish. The nation is rapidly passing from the strong and 
independent position of one that produces commodities for sale, 
into the weak and dependent one of the mere trader who depends 
for his living upon the differences between the prices at which 
he sells and those at which he buys — that is, upon his power to 
tax the producers and consumers of the earth. It is the most ex- 
traordinary and most universal system of taxation ever devised, and 
it is carried out at the cost of weakening and enfeebling the people 
of all the purely agricultural countries. The more completely all 
the world, outside of England, can be rendered one great farm, in 
which men, women, and children, the strong and the weak, the 
young and the aged, can be reduced to field labour as the only 
means of support, the larger will be the sum of those differences 
upon which the English people are now to so great an extent 
maintained, but the more rapid will be the tendency everywhere 
toward barbarism and slavery. The more, on the other hand, that 
the artisan can be brought to the side of the farmer, the smaller 
must be the sum of these differences, or taxes, and the greater will 
everywhere be the tendency toward civilization and freedom ; but 
the greater will be that English distress which is seen always to 
exist when the producers of the world obtain much cloth and iron 
in exchange for their sugar and their cotton. The English system 
is therefore a war for the perpetuation and extension of slavery. 

On a recent occasion the Chancellor of the Exchequer congratu- 
lated the House of Commons on the flourishing state of the reve- 
nue, notwithstanding that they had 

" In ten years repealed or reduced the duties on coffee, timber, cur- 
rants, wool, sugar, molasses, cotton wool, butter, cheese, silk manu- 
factures, tallow, spirits, copper ore, oil, and sperm, and an amazing 
number of other articles, which produced a small amount of revenue, 
with respect to which it is not material, and would be almost prepos- 
terous, that I should trouble the House in detail. It is sufficient for 


me to observe this remarkable fact, that the reduction of jour customs 
duties from 1842 has been systematically continuous ; that in 1842 you 
struck off nearly £1,500,000 of revenue calculated from the customs 
duties ; that in 1843 you struck off £120,000 ; in 1844, £279,000 ; in 
1845, upwards of £3,500,000 ; in 1846, upwards of £1,150,000 ; in 
1847, upwards of £343,000 : in 1848, upwards of £578,000 ; in 1849, 
upwards of £384,000 ; in 1850, upwards of £331,000 ; and in 1851, 
upwards of £801,000 — making an aggregate, in those ten years, of 
nearly £9,000,000 sterling." 

The reason of all this is, that the cultivator abroad is steadily 
giving more raw produce for less cloth and iron. The more exclu- 
sively the people of India can be forced to devote themselves to the 
raising of cotton and sugar, the cheaper they will be, and the larger 
will be the British revenue. The more the price of corn can be 
diminished, the greater will be the flight to Texas, and the 
cheaper will be cotton, but the larger will be the slave trade of 
America, India, and Ireland; and thus it is that the prosperity 
of the owners of mills and furnaces in England is always greatest 
when the people of the world are becoming most enslaved. 

It may be asked, however, if this diminution of the prices of 
foreign produce is not beneficial to the people of England. It is 
not, because it tends to reduce the general price of labour, the 
commodity they have to sell. Cheap Irish labour greatly dimi- 
nishes the value of that of England, and cheap Irish grain greatly 
diminishes the demand for labour in England, while increasing the 
supply by forcing the Irish people to cross the Channel. The land 
and labour of the world have one common interest, and that is to 
give as little as possible to those who perform the exchanges, and 
to those who superintend them — the traders and the government. 
The latter have everywhere one common interest, and that is to 
take as much as possible from the producers and give as little as 
possible to the consumers, buying cheaply and selling dearly. 
Like fire and water, they are excellent servants, but very bad mas- 
ters. The nearer the artisan comes to the producer of the food and 
the wool, the less is the power of the middleman to impose taxes, 
and the greater the power of the farmer to protect himself. The 
tendency of the British system, wherever found, is to impoverish 
the land-owner and the labourer, and to render both from year to 


year more tributary to the owners of an amount of machinery so 
small that its whole value would be paid by the weekly — if not 
even by the daily — loss inflicted upon the working population of 
the world by the system.* The more the owners of that ma- 
chinery become enriched, the more must the labourer everywhere 
become enslaved. 

That such must necessarily be the case will be obvious to any 
reader who will reflect how adverse is the system to the develop- 
ment of intellect. Where all are farmers, there can be little asso- 
ciation for the purpose of maintaining schools, or for the exchange 
of ideas of any kind. Employment being limited to the labours 
of the field, the women cannot attend to the care of their children, 
who grow up, necessarily, rude and barbarous ; and such we see 
now to be the case in the "West Indies, whence schools are rapidly 
disappearing. In Portugal and Turkey there is scarcely any pro- 
vision for instruction, and in India there has been a decline in that 
respect, the extent of which is almost exactly measured by the 
age of the foreign occupation. + In the Punjab, the country last 
acquired, men read and write, but in Bengal and Madras they are 
entirely uneducated. Ireland had, seventy years since, a public 
press of great efficiency, but it has almost entirely disappeared, as 
has the demand for books, which before the Union was so great as to 
warrant the republication of a large portion of those that appeared 
in England. Scotland, too, seventy years since, gave to the Empire 
many of its best writers, but she, like Ireland, has greatly declined. 
How bad is the provision for education throughout England, and 
how low is the standard of intellect among a large portion of her ma- 
nufacturing population, the reader has seen, and he can estimate for 
himself how much there can be of the reading of books or news- 
papers among an agricultural population hired by the day at the 
rate of six, eight, or even nine shillings a week — and it will, there- 

* The reader -will remark that of all the machinery of England but a small 
portion is required for the forced foreign trade that is thus produced. 

j The whole appropriation for the education of ten millions of people in 
"Western India is stated, in a recent memorial from Bombay, to be only £12,500, 
or $60,000, being six cents for every ten persons. 



fore not surprise him to learn that there is no daily newspaper 
published out of London. It is, however, somewhat extraordinary 
that in that city there should be, as has recently been stated, but 
a single one that is not "published at a loss." That one circulates 
40,000 copies, or more than twice the number of all the other 
daily papers united. This is a most unfavourable sign, for centrali- 
zation and progress have never gone hand in hand with each other. 

The system, too, is repulsive in its character. It tends to the 
production of discord among individuals and nations, and hence 
it is that we see the numerous strikes and combinations of work- 
men, elsewhere so little known. Abroad it is productive of war, 
as is now seen in India, and as was so recently the case in 
China. In Ireland it is expelling the whole population, and in 
Scotland it has depopulated provinces. The vast emigration now 
going on, and which has reached the enormous extent of 360,000 
in a single year, bears testimony to the fact that the repulsive 
power has entirely overcome the attractive one, and that the love 
of home, kindred, and friends is rapidly diminishing. How, in- 
deed, could it be otherwise in a country in which labour has been 
so far cheapened that the leading journal assures its readers that 
during a whole generation " man has been a drug, and population 
a nuisance ?" 

The fact that such a declaration should be made, and that that 
and other influential journals should rejoice in the expulsion of a 
whole nation, is evidence how far an unsound system can go to- 
ward steeling the heart against the miseries of our fellow-creatures. 
These poor people do not emigrate voluntarily. They are forced 
to leave their homes, precisely as is the case with the negro slave 
of Virginia; but they have not, as has the slave, any certainty of 
being fed and clothed at the end of the journey. Nevertheless, 
throughout England there is an almost universal expression of satis- 
faction at the idea that the land is being rid of what is held to be 
its superabundant population; and one highly respectable jour- 
nal,* after showing that at the same rate Ireland would be entirely 

* North British Review, Nov. 1852. 


emptied in twenty-four years, actually assures its readers that it 
views the process " without either alarm or regret/' and that it has no 
fear of the process being " carried too far or continued too long." 

"We see thus, on one hand, the people of England engnged in 
shutting in the poor people of Africa, lest they should be forced to 
Cuba • and, on the other, rejoicing at evictions, as the best means of 
driving out the poor people of Ireland. In all this there is a total 
absence of consistency; but so far as the Irish people are concerned, 
it is but a natural consequence of that "unsound social philoso- 
phy, " based upon the Ricardo-Malthusian doctrine, which after 
having annihilated the small land-owner and the small trader, de- 
nies that the Creator meant that every man should find a place at 
his table, and sees no more reason why a poor labourer should 
have any more right to be fed, if willing to work, than the Man- 
chester cotton-spinner should have to find a purchaser for his 
cloth. " Labour," we are told, is "a commodity," and if men 
will marry and bring up children "to an overstocked and expiring 
trade," it is for them to take the consequences — and u if ice stand 
between the error and its consequences, we. stand between the evil 
and its cure — if we intercept the penalty (where it does not 
amount to positive death) we perpetuate the sin."* 

Such being the state of opinion in regard to the claims of 
labour, we need scarcely be surprised to find a similar state of 
things in regard to the rights of property. The act of emancipa- 
tion was a great interference with those rights. However proper 
it might have been deemed to free the negroes, it was not right to 
cause the heaviest portion of the loss to be borne by the few and 
weak planters. If justice required the act, all should have borne 
their equal share of the burden. So again in regard to Ireland, 
where special laws have been passed to enable the mortgagees to 
sell a large portion of the land, rendered valueless by a system 
that had for long years prevented the Irishman from employing 
himself except in the work of cultivation. India appears likely 
now to come in for its share of similar legislation. Centralization 
has not there, we are told, been carried far enough. Private rights 

* Edinburgh Review, Oct. 1849. The italics are those of the reviewer. 


in land, trivial even as they now are,* must be annihilated. None, 
we are told, can be permitted " to stand between the cultivator and 
the government," even if the collection of the taxes " should render 
necessary so large an army of employes as to threaten the absorption 
of the lion's share" of them.*)" In regard to the rights to land in 
England itself, one of her most distinguished writers says that 

" When the ' sacredness of property' is talked of, it should always 
be remembered that this sacredness does not belong in the same de- 
gree to landed property. No man made the land. .- * * The claim 
of the land-owners to the land is altogether subordinate to the general 
policy of the state. *"••*"* Subject to this proviso (that of compensa- 
tion) the state is at liberty to deal with landed property as the gene- 
ral interests of the community may require, even to the extent, if it 
so happen, of doing with the whole what is done with a part when- 
ever a bill is passed for a railroad or a street/' — J. S. Mill, Principles, 
book ii. chap. ii. 

In regard to the disposal of property at the death of its owner, 
the same author is of opinion that " a certain moderate provision, 
such as is admitted to be reasonable in the case of illegitimate 
children, and of younger children" is all "that parents owe to 
their children, and all, therefore, which the state owes to the 
children of those who die intestate." The surplus, if any, he holds 
"it may rightfully appropriate to the general purposes of the 
community." — Hid. 

Extremes generally meet. From the days of Adam Smith to 
the present time the policy of England has looked in the direc- 
tion that led necessarily to the impoverishment of the small 
land-owner, and to the consolidation of land, and during the whole 
of that period we have been told of the superior advantages of 
large farms and great tenant-farmers; but now, when the in- 
jurious effects of the system are becoming from da}- to day more 
obvious, the question of the existence of any rhjlit to land is being 
discussed, and we are told that "public reasons" existed "for its 
being appropriated," and if those reasons have "lost their force, 
the thing would be unjust." From this to confiscation the step 
would not be a very great one. No such idea certainly could exist 
in the mind of so enlightened a man as Mr. Mill, who insists upon 

* See page 160, ante. -f- Lawson's Merchants' Mag., Dec. 1852. 


compensation; but when a whole people, among whom the produc- 
tive power is steadily diminishing as individual fortunes become 
more and more colossal, are told that the proprietors of land, great 
and small, receive compensation for its use, for no other reason 
than that they have been enabled to possess themselves of a mo- 
nopoly of its powers, and that rent is to be regarded as " the re- 
compense of no sacrifice whatever," but as being u received by 
those who neither labour nor put by, but merely hold out their 
hands to receive the offerings of the rest of the community,"* 
can we doubt that the day is approaching when the right to pro- 
perty in land will be tested in England, as it has elsewhere been ? 
Assuredly not. Ricardo-Malthusianism tends directly to what is 
commonly called Communism, and at that point will England 
arrive, under the system which looks to the consolidation of the 
land, the aggrandizement of the few, and the destruction of the 
physical, moral, intellectual, and political powers of the whole body 
of labourers, abroad and at home. 

Where population and wealth increase together, there is 
always found a growing respect for the rights of persons and 
property. Where they decline, that respect diminishes ; and the 
tendency of the whole British politico-economical system being 
toward the destruction of population and wealth at home and 
abroad, it tends necessarily toward agrarianism in its worst form. 
That such is the tendency of things in England we have the assur- 
ance of the London Times, by which it has recently been shown, 
says Mr. Kay, 

" That during the last half century, every thing has been done to 
deprive the peasant of any interest in the preservation of public order; 
of any wish to maintain the existing constitution of society ; of all 
hope of raising himself in the world, or of improving his condition in 
life ; of all attachment to his country ; of all feelings of there really 
existing any community of interest between himself and the higher 
ranks of society ; and of all consciousness that he has any thing to 
lose by political changes ; and that every thing has been done to ren- 
der him dissatisfied with his condition, envious of the richer classes, 
and discontented with the existing order of things. 

"The labourer," he continues "has no longer any connection with 
the land which he cultivates ; he has no stake in the country ; he has 

* Senior, Outlines of Political Economy, 152. 


nothing to lose, nothing to defend, and nothing to hope for. The 
word " cottage" has ceased to mean what it once meant — a small 
house surrounded by its little plot of land, which the inmate might 
cultivate as he pleased, for the support and gratification of his family 
and himself. The small freeholds hare long since been bought up 
and merged in the great estates. Copyholds have become almost ex- 
tinct, or have been purchased by the great land-owners. The com- 
mons, upon which the villagers once had the right of pasturing cattle 
for their own use, and on which, too, the games and pastimes of the 
villages were held, have followed the same course: they are enclosed, 
and now form part of the possessions of the great landowners. Small 
holdings of every kind have, in like manner, almost entirely disap- 
peared. Farms have gradually become larger and larger, and are 
now, in most parts of the country, far out of the peasant's reach, on 
account of their size, and of the amount of capital requisite to culti- 
vate them. The gulf between the peasant and the next step in the 
social scale — the farmer — is widening and increasing day by day. 
The labourer is thus left without any chance of improving his condi- 
tion. His position is one of hopeless and irremediable dependence. 
The workhouse stands near him, pointing out his dismal fate if he 
falls one step lower, and, like a grim scarecrow, warning him to be- 
take himself to some more hospitable region, where he will find no 
middle-age institutions opposing his industrious efforts." — Vol. i. 361. 

This is slavery, and it is an indication of poverty, and yet we 
hear much of the wealth of England. Where, however, is it ? 
The whole rental of the land, houses, mills, furnaces, and mines of 
the United Kingdom but little exceeds one hundred millions of 
pounds sterling, of which about one-half is derived from build- 
ings — and if we take the whole, perishable and imperishable, 
at twenty years' purchase, it is but two thousand millions.* If 
next we add for machinery of all kinds, ships, farming stock and 
implements, 600 niillions,f we obtain a total of only 2600 millions, 
or 12,500 millions of dollars, as the whole accumulation of more 
than two thousand years given to the improvement of the land, 
the building of houses, towns, and cities — and this gives but little 
over 400 dollars per head. Sixty years since, New York had a 

* At a recent discussion in the London Statistical Society, land in England 
was valued at thirty years' purchase, houses at fifteen, and land in Ireland at 

f This -will appear a very small estimate when compared with those usually 
made, but it is equal to the total production of the land and labour of the country 
for a year and a half, if not for a longer period j and it would be difficult to prove 


population of only 340,000, and it was a poor State, and to this 
hour it has no mines of any importance that are worked. 
Throughout the whole period, her people have been exhausting her 
soil, and the product of wheat, on lands that formerly gave twenty- 
five and thirty bushels to the acre, has fallen to six or eight,* and 
yet her houses and lands are valued at almost twelve hundred 
millions of dollars, and the total value of the real and personal 
estate is not less than fifteen hundred millions, or about $500 
per head — and these are the accumulations almost of the present 

The apparent wealth of England is, however, great, and it is so 
for the same reason that Kome appeared so rich in the days of 
Crassus and Lucullus, surrounded by people owning nothing, 
when compared with the days when Cincinnatus was surrounded 
by a vast body of small proprietors. Consolidation of the land 
and enormous manufacturing establishments have almost anni- 
hilated the power profitably to use small capitals, and the conse- 
quence is that their owners are forced to place them in saving 
funds, life-insurance companies, and in banks at small interest, 
and by all of these they are lent out to the large holders of land 
and large operators in mills, furnaces, railroads, &c. As the land 
has become consolidated, it has been covered with mortgages, and 
the effect of this is to double the apparent quantity of property. 
While the small proprietors held it, it was assessed to the revenue 
as land only. Now, it is assessed, first, as land, upon which its 
owner pays a tax, and next as mortgage, upon which the mort- 
gagee pays the income-tax. The land-owner is thus holding his 
property with other people's means, and the extent to which this 
is the case throughout England is wonderfully great. Banks 
trade little on their own capital, but almost entirely on that of 

that if the whole labour and capital of the country were applied to that purpose — 
food and clothing being supplied from abroad — it could not produce a quantity 
of commodities equal in value to those now accumulated in Etrgland. Even, 
however, were the amount placed at a thousand millions, the amount of wealth 
would still b9 small, under the circumstances of the case. 
* See page 105 ante. 


others.* The capital of the Bank of England having been ex- 
pended by the government, it has always traded exclusively on its 
deposites and circulation. The East India Company has no capi- 
tal, but a very large debt, and nothing to represent it ) and the 
example of these great institutions is copied by the smaller ones. 
Life-insurance companies abound, and the capitals are said to be 
large, but " nine-tenths" of them are declared to be " in a state of 
ruinous insolvency ;"*j" and it is now discovered the true mode of 
conducting that business is to have no capital whatsoever. The 
trade of England is to a great extent based on the property of 
foreigners, in the form of wool, silk, cotton, tobacco, sugar, and 
other commodities, sent there for sale, and these furnish much 
of the capital of her merchants. While holding this vast amount 
of foreign capital, they supply iron and cloth, for which they take 
the bonds of the people of other nations; and whenever the amount 
of these bonds becomes too large, there comes a pressure in the 
money market, and the prices of all foreign commodities are forced 
down, to the ruin of their distant owners. To the absence of real 
capital^ it is due that revulsions are so frequent, and so destruc- 
tive to all countries intimately connected with her; and it is a neces- 
sary consequence of the vast extent of trading on borrowed capital 
that the losses by bankruptcy are so astonishingly great. From 
1839 to 1843, a period of profound peace, eighty-two private 
bankers became bankrupt; of whom forty-six paid no dividends, 
twelve paid under twenty -five per cent., twelve under fifty per 

* The latest number of the Bankers' Magazine contains statements of two 
hanks whose joint capitals and reserved funds are about £200,000, while their 
investments are about a million ! — and this would seem to be about the usual 
state of affairs with most of the English banks. 

j Bankers' Magazine, Sept. 1852. 

j The amount of expenditure for English railroads is put down at from two to 
three hundreds of millions of pounds : and yet the real investment was only that 
of the labour employed in grading the roads, building the bridges, driving the 
tunnels, and making the iron ; and if we take that at £8000 per mile, we obtain 
only 54 millions. All the balance was merely a transfer of property already ex- 
isting from one owner to another, as in the case of the land, which in some cases 
cost ten or twelve thousands of pounds per mile. 


cent., three under seventy-five per cent., and two under one hun- 
dred per cent. ; leaving seven unascertained at the date of the 
report from which this statement is derived. The last revulsion 
brought to light the fact that many of the oldest and most respect- 
able houses in London had been for years trading entirely on credit, 
and without even a shilling of capital \ and in Liverpool the de- 
struction was so universal that it was difficult to discover more 
than half a dozen houses to whom a cargo could be confided. 
Kevulsions are a necessary consequence of such a state of things, 
and at each and every one of them the small manufacturer and the 
small trader or land-owner are more and more swept away, while 
centralization steadily increases — and centralization is adverse to 
the growth of wealth and civilization. The whole fabric tends 
steadily more and more to take the form of an inverted pyramid, 
that may be thus represented : — 

Ships and mills. 



In confirmation of this view we have the following facts given 

in a speech of Mr. George Wilson, at a reunion in 3Ianchester, a 

few weeks since : — 

" In the five counties of Buckingham, Dorset, "Wilts, Northampton, 
and Salop, 63 members were returned by 52,921 voters, while only 
the same number were returned by Lancashire and Yorkshire, with 
89,669 county and 84,612 borough voters, making a total of 174,281. 
So that, if they returned members in proportion to voters alone, those 
five Counties could only claim 19 ; while, if Lancashire took their pro- 
portion, it would be entitled to 207. There were twelve large cities 
or boroughs (taking London as a double borough) returning 24 mem- 
bers, with 192,000 voters, and a population of 3,268,218, and 388,000 
inhabited houses. On the other side, 24 members were returned by 
Andover, Buckingham, Chippenham, Cockermouth, Totnes, Harwich, 
Bedford; Lymington, Marlborough, Great Marlborough, and Rich- 
mond; but they had only 3,569 voters, 67,434 inhabitants, and 1,373 
inhabited houses. * * The most timid reformer and most mode- 
rate man -would hardly object to the disfranchisement of those 
boroughs which had a population less than 5000, and to handing over 
the 20 members to those large constituencies." 

As the people of Ireland are driven from the land to London, 
Liverpool, or America, the claims of that country to representation 


necessarily diminish ; and so with Scotland, as the Highlands and 
the Isles undergo the process of wholesale clearance. The same 
system that depopulates them tends to depopulate the agricultural 
counties of England, and to drive their people to seek employment 
in the great cities and manufacturing towns; and this, according 
to Mr. McCulloeh,* is one of the principal advantages resulting 
from absenteeism. The wealthy few congregate in London, 
and the vast mass of poor labourers in the lanes and alleys, the 
streets and the cellars, of London and Liverpool, Birmingham and 
Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds; and thus is there a daily increas- 
ing tendency toward having the whole power over England and 
the world placed in the hands of the owners of a small quantity of 
machinery — the same men that but a few years since were described 
by Sir Robert Peel as compelling children to work sixteen hours a 
day during the week, and to appropriate a part of Sunday to clean- 
ing the machinery — and the same that recently resisted every at- 
tempt at regulating the hours of labour, on the ground that all the 
profit resulted from the power to require " the last hour." Many 
of these gentlemen are liberal, and are actuated by the best inten- 
tions ; but they have allowed themselves to be led away by a false 
and pernicious theory that looks directly to the enslavement of the 
human race, and are thus blinded to the consequences of the sys- 
tem they advocate; but even were they right, it could not but 
be dangerous to centralize nearly the whole legislative power in a 
small portion of the L'nited Kingdom, occupied by people whose 
existence is almost entirely dependent on the question whether cot- 
ton is cheap or dear, and who are liable to be thrown so entirely 
under the control of their employers. 

With each step in this direction, consolidation of the land tends 
to increase, and there is increased necessity for " cheap labour." 
" The whole question" of England's manufacturing superiority, we 
are told, " has become one of a cheap and abundant supply of 
labour. "f That is, if labour can be kept down, and the labourer 
can be prevented from having a choice of employers, then the sys- 

* See page 240, ante. f North British Review, Nov. 1852. 


teni may be maintained, but not otherwise. Where, however, the 
labourer has not the power of determining for whom he will work, 
he is a slave; and to that condition it is that the system tends to 
reduce the English people, as it has already done with the once 
free men of India. Alarmed at the idea that the present flight 
from England may tend to give the labourer power to select his 
employer, and to have some control over the amount of his reward, 
the London Times suggests the expediency of importing cheap 
labourers from Germany and other parts of the continent, to aid in 
underworking their fellow-labourers in America and in India. 

It has been well said, that, according to some political econo- 
mists, "man was made for the land, and not the land fur man." 
In England, it would almost seem as if he had been made for 
cotton mills. Such would appear now to be the views of the Times, 
as, a quarter of a century since, they certainly were of Mr. Huskis- 
son. The object of all sound political economy is that of raising 
the labourer, and increasing the dignity of labour. That of 
the English system is to " keep labour down/' and to degrade the 
labourer to the condition of a mere slave; and such is its effect 
everywhere — and nowhere is its tendency in that direction more 
obvious than in England itself.* Consolidation of land on one 
side, and a determination to underwork the world on the other, 
are producing a rapid deterioration of material and moral condition, 
and, as a natural consequence, there is a steady diminution in the 
power of local self-government. The diminution of the agricultural 
population and the centralization of exchanges have been attended 
by decay of the agricultural towns, and their remaining people 
become less and less capable of performing for themselves those 

* This tendency is exhibited in most of the hooks that treat of the system. 
Thus, Mr. McCulloch insists on the beneficial effect of the fear of taxation, as will 
be seen in the following passage : — 

"To the desire of rising in the world, implanted in the breast of every indi- 
vidual, an increase of taxation superadds the fear of being cast down to a lower 
station, of being deprived of conveniences and gratifications which habit has 
rendered all but indispensable — and the combined influence of the two principles 
produces results that could not be produced by the unassisted agency of either." 

This is only the lash of the slave-driver in another form. 


duties to which their predecessors were accustomed — and hence it 
is that political centralization grows so rapidly. Scarcely a session 
of Parliament now passes without witnessing the creation of a new 
commission for the management of the poor, the drainage of towns, 
the regulation of lodging-houses, or other matters that could be 
better attended to by the local authorities, were it not that the 
population is being so rapidly divided into two classes widely 
remote from each other — the poor labourer and the rich absentee 
landlord or other capitalist. 

"With the decay of the power of the people over their own actions, 
the nation is gradually losing its independent position among the 
nations of the earth. It is seen that the whole " prosperity" of the 
country depends on the power to purchase cheap cotton, cheap 
sugar, and other cheap products of the soil, and it is feared that 
something may interfere to prevent the continuance of the 
system which maintains the domestic slave trade of this coun- 
try. We are, therefore, told by all the English journals, that 
u England is far too dependent on America for her supply of 
cotton. There is," says the Daily News, a too much risk in rely- 
ing on any one country, if we consider the climate and seasons 
alone ; but the risk is seriously aggravated when the country is 
not our own, but is inhabited by a nation which, however friendly 
on the whole, and however closely allied with us by blood and 
language, has been at war with us more than once, and might 
possibly some day be so again." 

*From month to month, and from year to year, we have the same 
note, always deepening in its intensity, — and yet the dependence 
increases instead of diminishing. On one day, the great prosperity 
of the country is proved by the publication of a long list of new 
cotton mills, and, on the next, we are told of — 

" The frightful predicament of multitudes of people whom a natural 
disaster [a short crop of cotton] denies leave to toil — who must work or 
starve, but who cannot work because the prime material of their work 
is not to be obtained in the world." — Laicsoii's Merchants' Magazine, 
Dec. 1852. 

W f hat worse slavery can we have than this ? It is feared that 

this country will not continue to supply cheap cotton, and it is 


known that India cannot enlarge its export, and, therefore, the whole 
mind of England is on the stretch to discover some new source 
from which it may be derived, that may tend to increase the com- 
petition for its sale, and reduce it lower than it even now is. At 
one time, it is hoped that it may be grown in Australia — but cheap 
labour cannot there be had. At another, it is recommended as 
expedient to encourage its culture in Natal, (South Africa,) as 
there it can be grown, as we are assured, by aid of cheap — or 
slave — labour, from India.* 

It is to this feeling of growing dependence, and growing weak- 
ness, that must be attributed the publication of passages like the 
following, from the London Times : — 

"It used to be said that if Athens and Lacedtemon could but make 
up their minds to be good friends and make a common cause, they 
■would be masters of the world. The wealth, the science, the maritime 
enterprise, and daring ambition of the one, assisted by the population, 
the territory, the warlike spirit, and stern institutions of the other, 
could not fail to carry the whole world before them. That was a pro- 
ject hostile to the peace and prosperity of mankind, and ministering 
only to national vanity. A far grander object, of more easy and more 
honourable acquisition, lies before England and the United States, 
and all other countries owning our origin and speaking our language. 
Let them agree not in an alliance offensive and defensive, but 
simply to never go to war with one another. Let them permit one 
another to develop as Providence seems to suggest, and the British 
race will gradually and quietly attain to a pre-eminence beyond the 
reach of mere policy and arms. The vast and ever-increasing inter- 
change of commodities between the several members of this great 
family, the almost daily communications now opened across, not one, 
but several oceans, the perpetual discovery of new means of locomo- 
tion, in which steam itself now bids fair to be supplanted by an equally 
powerful but cheaper and more convenient agency — all promise to 
unite the whole British race throughout the world in one social and 
commercial unity, more mutually beneficial than any contrivance of 
politics. Already, what does Austria gain from Hungary, France 
from Algiers, Russia from Siberia, or any absolute monarchy from its 
abject population, or what town from its rural suburbs, that England 
does not derive in a much greater degree from the United States, and 
the United States from England? What commercial partnership, 
what industrious household exhibits so direct an exchange of services? 
All that is wanted is that we should recognise this fact, and give it all 
the assistance in our power. We cannot be independent of one an- 
other. The attempt is more than unsocial ; it is suicidal. Could 

* Barter, The Dorp and the Veld. 


either dispense with the labour of the other, it would immediately 
lose the reward of its own industry. Whether national jealousy, or 
the thirst for warlike enterprise, or the grosser appetite of commercial 
monopoly, attempt the separation, the result and the crime are the 
same. We are made helps meet for one another. Heaven has joined 
all who speak the British language, and what Heaven has joined let 
no man think to put asunder." 

The allies of England have been Portugal and Ireland, India 
and the West Indies, and what is their condition has been shown. 
With Turkey she has had a most intimate connection, and that 
great empire is now prostrate. What inducement can she, then, 
offer in consideration of an alliance with her ? The more intimate 
our connection, the smaller must be the domestic market for food 
and cotton, the lower must be their prices, and the larger must be 
the domestic slave trade, now so rapidly increasing. Her system 
tends toward the enslavement of the labourer throughout the earth, 
and toward the destruction everywhere of the value of the land; 
and therefore it is that she needs allies. Therefore it is that the 
Times, a journal that but ten years since could find no term of 
vituperation sufficiently strong to be applied to the people of this 
country, now tells its readers that — 

"It is the prospect of these expanding and strengthening affinities 
that imparts so much interest to the mutual hospitalities shown by 
British and American citizens to the diplomatic representatives of the 
sister States." 

u To give capital a fair remuneration," it was needed that u the price 
of English labour should be kept down ;" and it has been kept down 
to so low a point as to have enabled the cotton mills of Manchester 
to supersede the poor Hindoo in his own market, and to drive him 
to the raising of cheap sugar to supply the cheap labour of Eng- 
land — and to supersede the manufacturers of this country, and 
drive our countrymen to the raising of cheap corn to feed the 
cheap labour of England, driven out of Ireland. Cheap food 
next forces the exportation of negroes from Maryland and Vir- 
ginia to Alabama and Mississippi, there to raise cheap cotton to 
supersede the wretched cultivator of India; and thus, in succes- 
sion, each and every part of the agricultural world is forced into 
competition with every other part, and the labourers of the world 


become from day to day more enslaved ; and all because the people 
of England are determined that the whole earth shall become one 
great farm, with but a single workshop, in which shall be fixed 
the prices of all its occupants have to sell or need to buy. For 
the first time in the history of the world, there exists a nation 
whose whole system of policy is found in the shopkeeper's maxim, 
Buy cheap and sell dear; and the results are seen in the fact that 
that nation is becoming from day to day less powerful and less capa- 
ble of the exercise of self-government among the community of na- 
tions. From day to day England is more and more seen to be losing 
the independent position of the farmer who sells the produce of his 
own labour, and occupying more and more that of the shopkeeper, 
anxious to conciliate the favour of those who have goods to sell or 
goods to buy; and with each day there is increased anxiety lest 
there should be a change in the feelings of the customers who bring 
cotton and take in exchange cloth and iron. The records of history 
might be searched in vain for a case like hers — for a nation volun- 
tarily subjecting itself to a process of the most exhaustive kind. 
They present no previous case of a great community, abounding in 
men of high intelligence, rejoicing in the diminution of the propor- 
tion of its people capable of feeding themselves and others, and in 
the increasing proportion requiring to be fed. England now ex- 
ports in a year nearly 400,000 men and women that have been 
raised at enormous cost,* and she rejoices at receiving in exchange 
300,000 infants yet to be raised. She exports the young, and re- 
tains the aged. She sends abroad the sound, and keeps at home 
the unsound. She expels the industrious, and retains the idle. 
She parts with the small capitalist, but she keeps the pauper. 
She sends men from her own land, and with them the commodities 
they must consume while preparing for cultivation distant lands ; — 
and all these things are regarded as evidences of growing wealth 
and power. She sends men from where they could make twelve 
or twenty exchanges in a year to a distance from which they can 

* Estimating the average cost of raising men and women at only $1000 each, 
the present forced export is equal to sending abroad a capital of four hundred 
millions of dollars, no return from which is to be looked for. 


make but one ; and this is taken as evidence of the growth of com- 
merce. She sends her people from the land to become trampers 
in her roads, or to seek refuge in filthy lanes and cellars ; and this 
is hailed as tending to promote the freedom of man. In all this, 
however, she is but realizing the prophecies of Adam Smith, in rela- 
tion to the determination of his countrymen to see in foreign trade 
alone " England's treasure." 

In all nations, ancient and modern, freedom has come with the 
growth of association, and every act of association is an act of com- 
merce. Commerce and freedom grow, therefore, together, and 
whatever tends to lessen the one must tend equally to lessen the 
other. The object of the whole British system is to destroy the 
power of association, for it seeks to prevent everywhere the growth 
of the mechanic arts, and without them there can be no local places 
of exchange, and none of that combination so needful to material, 
moral, intellectual, and political improvement. That such has been 
its effect in Portugal and Turkey, the West Indies and India, and 
in our Southern States, we know — and in all of these freedom de- 
clines as the power of association diminishes. That such has been 
its effect in Ireland and Scotland, the reader has seen. In Eng- 
land we may see everywhere the same tendency to prevent the 
existence of association, or of freedom of trade. Land, the great 
instrument of production, is becoming from day to day more conso- 
lidated. Capital, the next great instrument, is subjected to the 
control of the Bank of England — an institution that has probably 
caused more ruin than any other that has ever existed.* Associa- 

* The recent movement of this institution in raising the rate of interest affords 
a striking example of its power, and of the absence of the judgment required for 
its exercise. For two years past the bank has aided in raising prices, but now it 
desires to reduce them, and at the cost, necessarily, of the weaker portions of the 
community, for the rich can always take care of themselves. The whole tendency 
of its operations is toward making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Sir Robert 
Peel undertook to regulate the great machine, but his scheme for that purpose 
failed, because he totally misconceived the cause of the evil, and of course applied 
the wrong remedy. It was one that could only aggravate the mischief, as he 
could scarcely have failed to see, had he studied the subject with the care its im- 
portance merited. 


tions for banking or manufacturing purposes are restrained by a 
system of responsibility that tends to prevent prudent men from 
taking part in their formation. The whole tendency of the sys- 
tem is to fetter and restrain the productive power; and hence it is 
that it has proved necessary to establish the fact that the great 
Creator had made a serious mistake in the laws regulating the in- 
crease of food and of men, and that the cheapened labourer was 
bound to correct the error by repressing that natural desire for 
association which leads to an increase of population. The conse- 
quences of all this are seen in the fact that there is in that coun- 
try no real freedom of commerce. There is no competition for the 
purchase of labour, and the labourer is therefore a slave to the 
capitalist. There is no competition for the use of capital, and its 
owner is a slave to his banker, who requires him to content him- 
self with the smallest profits. There is scarcely any power 
to sell land, for it is everywhere hedged round with entails, 
jointures, and marriage settlements, that fetter and enslave its 
owner. There is no competition for obtaining " maidens in mar- 
riage/' for the Chronicle assures us that marriage now rarely takes 
place until the cradle has become as necessary as the ring f* and 
when that is the case, the man will always be found a tyrant and 
the woman a slave. In the effort to destroy the power of associa- 
tion, and the freedom of trade and of man abroad, England has in 
a great degree annihilated freedom at home ; and all this she has 
done because, from the day of the publication of The Wealth of 
Nations, her every movement has looked to the perpetuation of the 
system denounced by its author as a " manifest violation of the 
most sacred rights of mankind/ 7 

* Page 230, ante. 





How can slavery be extinguished, and man be made free? 
This question, as regarded England, was answered some years 
since by a distinguished anti-corn-law orator, when he said that 
for a long time past, in that country, two men had been seeking 
one master, whereas the time was then at hand when two masters 
would be seeking one man. Now, we all know that when two 
men desire to purchase a commodity, it rises in value, and its 
owner finds himself more free to determine for himself what to do 
with it than he could do if there were only one person desiring to 
have it, and infinitely more free than he could be if there were two 
sellers to one buyer. To make men free there must be competi- 
tion for the purchase of their services, and the more the competi- 
tion the greater must be their value, and that of the men who have 
them to sell. 

It has already been shown* that in purely agricultural com- 
munities there can be very little competition for the purchase of 
labour; and that such is the fact the reader can readily satisfy 
himself by reflecting on the history of the past, or examining the 
condition of man as he at present exists among the various nations 
of the earth. History shows that labour has become valuable, and 
that man has become free, precisely as the artisan has been enabled 
to take his place by the side of the ploughman — precisely as labour 
has become diversified — precisely as small towns have arisen in 
which the producer of food and wool could readily exchange for 
cloth and iron — precisely as manure could more readily be obtained 
to aid in maintaining the productiveness of the soil — and precisely, 
therefore, as men have acquired the power of associating with their 
fellow-men. With the growth of that power they have everywhere 
been seen to obtain increased returns from land, increased reward 

* Chap. YII. ante. 


of labour, and increased power to accumulate the means of making 
roads, establishing schools, and doing all other things tending to the 
improvement of their modes of action and their habits of thought ; 
and thus it is that freedom of thought, speech, action, and trade 
have always grown with the growth of the value of labour and 

It is desired to abolish the trade in slaves. Xo such trade could 
exist were men everywhere free ; but as they are not so, it has in 
many countries been deemed necessary to prohibit the sale of men 
from off the land, as preliminary to the establishment of freedom. 
Nothing of this kind, however, can now be looked for, because there 
exists no power to coerce the owners of slaves to adopt any such 
measures ; nor, if it did exist, would it be desirable that it should 
be exercised, as it would make the condition of both the slave and 
his master worse than it is even now. Neither is it necessary, be- 
cause there exists "a higher law" — a great law of the Creator — 
that will effectually extinguish the trade whenever it shall be per- 
mitted to come into activity. 

Why is it that men in Africa sell their fellow-men to be trans- 
ported to Cuba or Brazil ? For the same reason, obviously, that 
other men sell flour in Boston or Baltimore to go to Liverpool or 
Rio Janeiro — because it is cheaper in the former than in the latter 
cities. If, then, we desired to put a stop to the export, would not 
our object be effectually accomplished by the adoption of measures 
that would cause prices to be higher in Boston than in Liverpool, 
and higher in Baltimore than in Rio ? That such would be the 
case must be admitted by all. If, then, we desired to stop the 
export of negroes from Africa, would not our object be effectually 
and permanently attained could we so raise the value of man in 
Africa that he would be worth as much, or more, there than in 
Cuba ? Would not the export of Coolies cease if man could be 
rendered more valuable in India than in Jamaica or Guiana ? 
Would not the destruction of cottages, the eviction of their inha- 
bitants, and the waste of life throughout Ireland, at once be termi- 
nated, could man be made as valuable there as he is here ? Would 
not the export of the men, women, and children of Great Britain 


cease, if labour there could be brought to a level with that of Mas- 
sachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania ? Assuredly it would ; 
for men do not voluntarily leave home, kindred, and friends. On 
the contrary, so great is the attachment to home, that it requires, 
in most cases, greatly superior attractions to induce them to emi- 
grate. Adam Smith said that, of all commodities, man was the 
hardest to be removed — and daily observation shows that he was 

To terminate the African slave trade, we need, then, only to 
raise the value of man in Africa. To terminate the forced export 
of men, women, and children from Ireland, we need only to raise 
the value of men in Ireland ; and to put an end to our own domestic 
slave trade, nothing is needed except that we raise the value of 
man in Virginia. To bring the trade in slaves, of all colours and 
in all countries, at once and permanently to a close, we need to 
raise the value of man at home, let that home be where it may. 
How can this be done ? By precisely the same course of action 
that terminated the export of slaves from England to Ireland. In 
the days of the Plantagenets, men were so much more valuable in 
the latter country than in the former one, that the market of Ire- 
land was "glutted with English slaves ;" but as, by degrees, the 
artisan took his place by the side of the English ploughman, the 
trade passed away, because towns arose and men became strong to 
defend their rights as they were more and more enabled to asso- 
ciate with each other. Since then, the artisan has disappeared 
from Ireland, and the towns have decayed, and men have become 
weak because they have lost the power to associate, and, therefore, 
it is that the market of England has been so glutted with Irish 
slaves that man has been declared to be " a drug, and population 
a nuisance." 

Such precisely has been the course of things in Africa. For 
two centuries it had been deemed desirable to ha^ve from that 
country the same " inexhaustible supply of cheap labour" that 
Ireland has supplied to England; and, therefore, no effort was 
spared to prevent the negroes from making any improvement in 
their modes of cultivation. " It was," says Macpherson, "the 


European policy" to prevent the Africans from arriving at per- 
fection in any of their pursuits, "from a fear of interfering with 
established branches of trade elsewhere." More properly, it was 
the English policy. " The truth is," said Mr. Pitt, in 1791— 

" There is no nation in Europe which has plunged so deeply into 
this guilt as Britain. We stopped the natural progress of civiliza- 
tion in Africa. We cut her off from the opportunity of improvement. 
We kept her down in a state of darkness, bondage, ignorance, and 
bloodshed. We have there subverted the whole order of nature ; we 
have aggravated every natural barbarity, and furnished to every man 
motives for committing, under the name of trade, acts of perpetual 
hostility and perfidy against his neighbour. Thus had the perversion 
of British commerce carried misery instead of happiness to one whole 
quarter of the globe. False to the very principles of trade, unmindful 
of our duty, what almost irreparable mischief had we done to that 
continent ! We had obtained as yet only so much knowledge of its 
productions as to show that there was a capacity for trade which we 

How was all this done ? By preventing the poor Africans from 
obtaining machinery to enable them to prepare their sugar for 
market, or for producing cotton and indigo and combining them into 
cloth — precisely the same course of operation that was pursued 
in Jamaica with such extraordinary loss of life. Guns and gun- 
powder aided in providing cheap labour, and how they were sup- 
plied, even so recently as in 1807, will be seen on a perusal of the 
following passage, from an eminent English authority, almost of 
our own day : — 

" A regular branch of trade here, at Birmingham, is the manufacture 
of guns for the African market. They are made for about a dollar 
and a half: the barrel is filled with water, and if the water does not 
come through, it is thought proof sufficient. Of course, they burst 
when fired, and mangle the wretched negro, who has purchased them 
upon the credit of English faith, and received them, most probably, as 
the price of human flesh ! No secret is made of this abominable trade, 
yet the government never interferes, and the persons concerned in it 
are not marked and shunned as infamous." — Southey's " Espriella's 

It is deemed now desirable to have cheap labour applied to the 

collection of gold-dust and hides, palm-leaves and ivory, and the 

description of commodities at present exported to that country 

will be seen by the following cargo-list of the brig Lily, which sailed 

from Liverpool a few weeks since for the African coast, but blew 


up and was destroyed in the neighbourhood of the Isle of Man, to 
wit : — 

50 tons gunpowder, 

20 puncheons rum, 

A quantity of firearms, and 

Some bale-goods. 

Such are not the commodities required for raising the value of 
man in Africa, and until it can be raised to a level with his value 
in Cuba, the export of men will be continued from the African 
coast as certainly as the export from Ireland will be continued so 
long as men are cheaper there than elsewhere ; and as certainly as 
the trade described in the following letter will be continued, so long 
as the people of India shall be allowed to do nothing but raise sugar 
and cotton for a distant market, and shall thus be compelled to 
forego all the advantages so long enjoyed by them under the native 
governments, when the history of the cotton manufacture was the 
history of almost every family in India : — 

" Havana, Feb. 11, 1853. 

" On the morning of the 7th, arrived from Amoa, Singapore, and 
Jamaica, the British ship Panama, Fisher, 522 tons, 131 days' passage, 
with 261 Asiatics (Coolies) on board, to be introduced to the labour 
of the island, purchased for a service of four years. The loss on the 
passage was a considerable percentage, being 90 thrown overboard. 
The speculators in this material are Messrs. Yiloldo, "Wardrop & Co., 
who have permission of the government to cover five thousand sub- 
jects. The cargo is yet held in quarantine. 

" On the 8th inst., arrived from Amoa and St. Helena, the ship 
Blenheim, Molison, 808 tons, 104 days' passage, bringing to the same 
consignees 412 Coolies. Died on the voyage, 38. Money will be 
realized by those who have the privilege of making the introduction, 
and English capital will find some play ; but I doubt very much whe- 
ther the purposes of English philanthropy will be realized, for, reasoning 
from the past, at the expiration of the four years, nearly all have been 
sacrificed, while the condition of African labour will be unmitigated. 
A short term and cupidity strain the lash over the poor Coolie, and he 
dies ; is secreted if he lives, and advantage taken of his ignorance for 
extended time when once merged in plantation-service, where investi- 
gation can be avoided." — Correspondence of the New York Journal of 

This trade is sanctioned by the British government because it 
provides an outlet for Hindoo labour, rendered surplus by the de- 
struction of the power of association throughout India, and yet the 


same government expends large sums annually in closing an outlet 
for African labour, rendered sfrrpliis by the rum and the gunpowder 
that are supplied to Africa ! 

To stop the export of men from that important portion of the 
earth, it is required that we should raise the value of man in 
Africa, and to do this, the African must be enabled to have ma- 
chinery, to bring the artisan to his door, to build towns, to have 
schools, and to make roads. To give to the African these things, 
and to excite in his breast a desire for something better than rum, 
gunpowder, and murder, and thus to raise the standard of morals 
and the value of labour, has been the object of the founders of the 
Republic of Liberia, one of the most important and excellent un- 
dertakings of our day. Thus far, however, it has been looked 
upon very coldly by all the nations of Europe, and it is but recently 
that it has received from any of them the slightest recognition; and 
even now it is regarded solely as being likely to aid in providing 
cheap labour, to be employed in increasing the supplies of sugar 
and cotton, and thus cheapening those commodities in the market 
of the world, at the cost of the slaves of America and of India. 

Nevertheless it has made considerable progress. Its numbers 
now amount to 150,000,* a large proportion of whom are na- 
tives, upon whom the example of the colonists from this country 
has operated to produce a love of industry and a desire for many 
of the comforts of civilized life. By aid, generally, of persua- 
sion, but occasionally by that of force, it has put an end to the 
export of men throughout a country having several hundred miles 
of coast. The difficulty, however, is that wages are very low, and 
thus there is but little inducement for the immigration of men 
from the interior, or from this country, f Much progress has thus 
been made, yet it is small compared with what might be made 
could the republic offer greater inducements to settlers from the 
interior, or from this country ; that is, could it raise the value of 
man, ridding itself of cheap labour. Where there is nothing but 

* Message of President Roberts, Dee. 1S-49. 

| Lecture on the Relations of Free and Slave Labour, by David Cbristy, p. 46. 


agriculture, the men must be idle for very much of their time, and 
the women and children must be idle or work in the field ; and 
where people are forced to remain idle they remain poor and weak, 
and they can have neither towns, nor roads, nor schools. Were it 
in the power of the republic to say to the people for hundreds of 
miles around, that there was a demand for labour every day in the 
year, and at good wages — that at one time cotton was to be picked, 
and at another it was to be converted into cloth — that in the 
s-ummer the cane was to be cultivated, in the autumn the sugar 
was to be gathered, and in the winter it was to be refined — 
that at one time houses and mills were to be built, and at another 
roads to be made — that in one quarter stone was to be quarried, 
and in another timber to be felled — there would be hundreds of 
thousands of Africans who would come to seek employment, and 
each man that came would give strength to the republic while di- 
minishing the strength of the little tyrants of the interior, who 
would soon find men becoming less abundant and more valuable, and 
it would then become necessary to try to retain their subjects. 
Every man that came would desire to have his wife and children 
follow him, and it would soon come to be seen that population and 
wealth were synonymous, as was once supposed to be the case in 
Europe. By degrees, roads would be made into the interior, and 
civilized black men would return to their old homes, carrying 
with them habits of industry and intelligence, a knowledge of 
agriculture and of the processes of the coarser manufactures, and 
with every step in this direction labour would acquire new value, 
and men would everywhere become more free. 

To accomplish these things alone and unassisted might, however, 
require almost centuries, and to render assistance would be to re- 
pudiate altogether the doctrine of cheap labour, cheap sugar, and 
cheap cotton. Let us suppose that on his last visit to England, 
President Roberts should have invoked the aid of the English 
Premier in an address to the following effect, and then see what 
must have been the reply : — 
". My Lord : 

" We have in our young republic a population of 150,000, scat- 


tered over a surface capable of supporting the whole population of 
England, and all engaged in producing the same commodities, 
— as a consequence of which we have, and can have, but little trade 
among ourselves. During a large portion of the year our men 
have little to do, and they waste much time, and our women and 
children are limited altogether to the labours of the field, to the 
great neglect of education. "Widely scattered, we have much need 
of roads, but are too poor to make them, and therefore much pro- 
duce perishes on the ground. We cannot cultivate bulky articles, 
because the cost of transportation would be greater than tbeir pro- 
duct at market; and of those that we do cultivate nearly the 
whole must be sent to a distance, with steady diminution in the 
fertility of the soil. "We need machinery and mechanics. With 
them we could convert our cotton and our indigo into cloth, and 
thus find employment for women and children. Mechanics would 
need houses, and carpenters and blacksmiths would find employ- 
ment, and gradually towns would arise, and our people would be 
from day to day more enabled to make their exchanges at home, 
while acquiring increased power to make roads, and land would 
become valuable, while men would become from day to day more 
free. Immigration from the interior would be large, and from 
year to year we should be enabled to extend our relations with the 
distant tribes, giving value to their labour and disseminating know- 
ledge, and thus should we, at no distant period, be enabled not 
only to put an end to the slave trade, but also to place millions of 
barbarians on the road to wealth and civilization. To accomplish 
these things, however, we need the aid and countenance of Great 

The reply to this would necessarily have been — 

" Mr. President : 

" We are aware of the advantage of diversification of employments, 

for to that were our own people indebted for their freedom. With 

the immigration of artisans came the growth of our towns, the 

value of our land, and the strength of the nation. We are aware, 

too, of the advantages of those natural agents which so much 

assist the powers of man ; but it is contrary to British policy to 



aid in the establishment of manufactures of any description in any 
part of the world. On the contrary, we have spared no pains to 
annihilate those existing in India, and we are now maintaining 
numerous colonies, at vast expense, for the single purpose of 
' stifling in their infancy the manufactures of other nations.' We 
need large supplies of cotton, and the more you send us, the 
cheaper it will be ; whereas, if you make cloth, you will have no 
cotton to sell; no cloth to buy. We need cheap sugar, and if you 
have artisans to eat your sugar, you will have none to send us to 
pay for axes or hammers. We need cheap hides, palm-leaves, and 
ivory, and if your people settle themselves in towns, they will have 
less time to employ themselves in the collection of those commodi- 
ties. We need cheap labour, and the cheaper your cotton and 
your sugar the lower will be the price of labour. Be content. 
Cultivate the earth, and send its products to our markets, and we 
will send you cloth and iron. You will, it is true, find it difficult 
to make roads, or to build schools, and your women will have to 
work in the sugar-plantations; but this will prevent the growth of 
population, and there will be less danger of your being compelled 
to resort to ' the inferior soils' that yield so much less in return 
to labour. The great danger now existing is that population may 
outrun food, and all our measures in Ireland, India, Turkey, and 
other countries are directed toward preventing the occurrence of 
so unhappy a state of things." 

Let us next suppose that the people of Virginia should address 
the British nation, and in the following terms : — 

"We are surrounded by men who raise cottonwool, and we 
have in our own State land unoccupied that could furnish more 
sheep's wool than would be required for clothing half our nation. 
Within our limits there are water-powers now running to waste 
that could, if properly used, convert into cloth half the cotton 
raised in the Union. We have coal and iron ore in unlimited 
quantity, and are daily wasting almost as much labour as would 
be required for making all the cloth and iron we consume in a 
month. Nevertheless, we can make neither cloth nor iron. Many 
of our people have attempted it, but they have, almost without 


exception, been ruined. When you charge high prices for 
clofen, vre build mills; but no sooner are they built than there 
comes a crisis at ' the mighty heart of commerce/ and cloths are 
poured into our markets so abundantly and sold so cheaply, that 
our people become bankrupt. When you charge high prices for 
iron, as you now do, we build furnaces ; but no sooner are they 
ready than your periodical crisis comes, and then you sell iron so 
cheaply that the furnace-master is ruined. As a consequence of 
this, we are compelled to devote ourselves to raising tobacco and 
corn to go abroad, and our women and children are barbarized, 
while our lands are exhausted. You receive our tobacco, and you 
pay us but three pence for that which sells for six shillings, and 
we are thus kept poor. Our corn is too bulky to go abroad in its 
rude state, and to enable it to go to market we are obliged to 
manufacture it into negroes for Texas. We detest the domestic 
slave trade, and it is abhorrent to our feelings to sell a negro, but 
we have no remedy, nor can we have while, because of inability 
to have machinery, labour is so cheap. If we could make iron, 
or cloth, we should need houses, and towns, and carpenters, and 
blacksmiths, and then people from other States would flock to us, 
and our towns and cities would grow rapidly, and there would be a 
great demand for potatoes and turnips, cabbages and carrots, peas 
and beans, and then we could take from the land tons of green 
crops where now we obtain only bushels of wheat. Land would 
then become valuable, and great plantations would become divided 
into small farms, and with each step in this direction labour would 
become more productive, and the labourer would from day to day ac- 
quire the power to determine for whom he would work and how 
he should be paid — and thus, as has been the case in all other 
countries, our slaves would become free as we became rich/' 

To this what would be the reply ? Must it not be to the follow- 
ing effect : — 

" We need cheap food, and the more you can be limited to agri- 
culture, the greater will be the quantity of wheat pressing upon 
our market, and the more cheaply will our cheap labourers be fed. 
We need large revenue, and the more you can be forced to raise to- 

bacco, the larger our consumption, and the larger our revenue. 
"We need cheap cotton and cheap sugar, and the less the value of 
men, women, and children in Virginia, the larger will be the ex- 
port of slaves to Texas, the greater will be the competition of the 
producers of cotton and sugar to sell their commodities in our 
markets, and the lower will be prices, while the greater will be 
the competition for the purchase of our cloth, iron, lead, and copper, 
and the higher will be prices. Our rule is to buy cheaply and 
sell dearly, and it is only the slave that submits dearly to buy and 
cheaply to sell. Our interest requires that we should be the great 
work- shop of the world, and that we may be so it is needful that 
we should use all the means in our power to prevent other nations 
from availing themselves of their vast deposites of ore and fuel; 
for if they made iron they would obtain machinery, and be en- 
abled to call to their aid the vast powers that nature has every- 
where provided for the service of man. We desire that there shall 
be no steam-engines, no bleaching apparatus, no furnaces, no roll- 
ing-mills, except our own ; and our reason for this is, that we are 
quite satisfied that agriculture is the worst and least profitable 
pursuit of man, while manufactures are the best and most profitable. 
It is our wish, therefore, that you should continue to raise tobacco 
and corn, and manufacture the corn into negroes for Texas and 
Arkansas; and the more extensive the slave trade the better we 
shall be pleased, because we know that the more negroes you ex- 
port the lower will be the price of cotton. Our people are be- 
coming from day to day more satisfied that it is ' for their advan- 
tage' that the negro shall 'wear his chains in peace/ even 
although it may cause the separation of husbands and wives, 
parents and children, and although they know that, in default of 
other employment, women and children are obliged to employ 
their labour in the culture of rice among the swamps of Caro- 
lina, or in that of sugar among the richest and most unhealthy 
lands of Texas. This will have one advantage. It will lessen 
the danger of over-population." 

Again, let us suppose the people of Ireland to come to their 
brethren across the Channel and say — " Half a century since we 


were rapidly improving. "We had large manufactures of various 
kinds, and our towns were thriving, and schools were increasing 
in number, making a large demand for books, with constantly in- 
creasing improvement in the demand for labour, and in its quality. 
Since then, however, a lamentable change has taken place. Our 
mills and furnaces have everywhere beeu closed, and our people 
have been compelled to depend entirely upon the land; the conse- 
quence of which is seen in the fact that they have been required to 
pay such enormous rents that they themselves have been unable to 
consume any thing but potatoes, and have starved by hundreds of 
thousands, because they could find no market for labour that would 
enable them to purchase even of them enough to support life. 
Labour has been so valueless that our houses have been pulled 
down by hundreds of thousands, and we find ourselves now com- 
pelled to separate from each other, husbands abandoning wives, 
sons abandoning parents, and brothers abandoning sisters. We 
fear that our whole nation will disappear from the earth; and the 
only mode of preventing so sad an event is to be found in raising 
the value of labour. We need to make a market at home for 
it and for the products of our land; but that we cannot have 
unless we have machinery. Aid us in this. Let us supply our- 
selves. Let us make cloth and iron, and let us exchange those 
commodities among ourselves for the labour that is now every- 
where being wasted. We shall then see old towns flourish and 
new ones arise, and we shall have schools, and our land will be- 
come valuable, while we shall become free." 

The answer to this would necessarily be as follows : — 
* It is to the cheap labour that Ireland has supplied that we 
are indebted for i our great works,' and cheap labour is now more 
than ever needed, because we have not only to underwork the 
Hindoo, but also to underwork several of the principal nations of 
Europe and America. That we may have cheap labour we must 
have cheap food. Were we to permit you to become manufac- 
turers you would make a market at home for your labour and 
wages would rise, and you would then be able to eat meat and 
wheaten bread, instead of potatoes, and the effect of this would be to 



raise the price of food ; and thus should we be disabled from com- 
peting with the people of Germany, of Belgium, and of America, 
in the various markets of the world. Further than this, were you 
to become manufacturers you would consume a dozen pounds of 
cotton where now you consume but one, and this would raise the 
price of cotton, as the demand for Germany and Russia has now 
raised it, while your competition with us might lower the price of 
cloth. We need to have cheap cotton while selling dear cloth. 
We need to have cheap food while selling dear iron. Our para- 
mount rule of action is, ' buy in the cheapest market and sell in 
the dearest one' — and the less civilized those with whom we have to 
deal the cheaper we can always buy and the dearer we can sell. 
It is, therefore, to our interest that your women should labour in 
the field, and that your children should grow up uneducated and 
barbarous. Even, however, were we so disposed, you could not 
compete with us. Your labour is cheap, it is true, but after 
having, for half a century, been deprived of manufactures, you 
have little skill, and it would require many years for you to ac- 
quire it. Your foreign trade has disappeared with your manufac- 
tures, and the products of your looms would have no market but 
your own. When we invent a pattern we have the whole world 
for a market, and after having supplied the domestic demand, we 
can furnish of it for foreign markets so cheaply as to set at de- 
fiance all competition. Further than all this, we have, at very 
short intervals, periods of monetary crisis that are so severe as 
to sweep away many of our own manufacturers, and at those times 
goods are forced into all the markets of the world, to be sold at 
any price that can be obtained for them. Look only at the facts 
of the last few years. Six years since, railroad iron was worth 
£12 per ton. Three years since, it could be had for £4.10, or 
even less. Xow it is at £10, and a year hence it may be 
either £12 or £4 ; and whether it shall be the one or the other is 
dependent altogether upon the movements of the great Bank 
which regulates all our affairs. Under such circumstances, how 
could your infant establishments hope to exist ? Be content. The 
Celt has long been ( the hewer of wood and drawer of water for 


the Saxon/ and so he must continue. We should regret to see 
you all driven from your native soil, because it would deprive us 
of our supply of cheap labour; but we shall have in exchange 
the great fact that Ireland will become one vast grazing-farm, and 
will supply us with cheap provisions, and thus aid in keeping down 
the prices of all descriptions of food sent to our markets. " 

The Hindoo, in like manner, would be told that his aid was 
needed for keeping down the price of American and Egyptian 
cotton, and Brazilian and Cuban sugar, and that the price of both 
would rise were he permitted to obtain machinery that would 
enable him to mine coal and iron ore, by aid of which to obtain 
spindles and looms for the conversion of his cotton into cloth, and 
thus raise the value of his labour. The Brazilian would be told 
that it was the policy of England to have cheap sugar, and that the 
more he confined himself and his people — men, women, and chil- 
dren — to the culture of the cane, the lower would be the prices of 
the product of the slaves of Cuba and the Mauritius. 

Seeing that the policy of England was thus directly opposed to 
every thing like association, or the growth of towns and other 
local places of exchange, and that it looked only to cheapening 
labour and enslaving the labourer, the questions would naturally 
arise : Can we not help ourselves ? Is there no mode of escaping 
from this thraldom ? Must our women always labour in the field? 
Must our children always be deprived of schools ? Must we con- 
tinue for ever to raise negroes for sale ? Must the slave trade last 
for ever ? Must the agricultural communities of the world be com- 
pelled for all time to compete against each other in one very limited 
market for the sale of all they have to sell, and the purchase of 
all they have to buy ? Are there not some nations in which men 
are becoming more free, and might we not aid the cause of freedom 
by studying the course they have pursued and are pursuing? 
Let us, then, inquire into the policy of some of the various peoples 
of Continental Europe, and see if we cannot obtain an answer to 
these questions. 




Local action has always, to a considerable extent, existed in 
Germany. For a time, there was a tendency to the centralization 
of power in the hands of Austria, but the growth of Prussia at the 
north has produced counter attraction, and there is from day to day 
an increasing tendency toward decentralization, local activity, and 

It is now but little more than seventy years since the Elector 
of Hesse sold large numbers of his poor subjects to the government 
of England to aid it in establishing unlimited control over the 
people of this country. About the same period, Frederick of 
Prussia had his emissaries everywhere employed in seizing men 
of proper size for his grenadier regiments — and so hot was the 
pursuit, that it was dangerous for a man of any nation, or however 
free, if of six feet high, to place himself within their reach. The 
people were slaves, badly fed, badly clothed, and badly lodged, 
and their rulers were tyrants. The language of the higher 
classes was French, German being then regarded as coarse and 
vulgar, fit only for the serf. German literature was then only 
struggling into existence. Of the mechanic arts, little was known, 
and the people were almost exclusively agricultural, while the ma- 
chinery used in agriculture was of the rudest kind. Commerce 
at home was very small, and abroad it was limited to the export 
of the rude products of the field, to be exchanged for the luxuries 
of London or Paris required for the use of the higher orders of 

Thirty years later, the slave trade furnished cargoes to many, 
if not most, of the vessels that traded between this country and 
Germany. Men, women, and children were brought out and sold 
for terms of years, at the close of which they became free, and 
many of the most respectable people in the Middle States are 
descended from "indented" German servants. 


The last half century has, h'owfever, Leon marked by the adoption 
of measures tending to the complete establishment of the mechanic 
arts throughout Germany, and to the growth of places for the 
performance of local exchanges. The change commenced during 
the period of the continental system; but, at the close of the war, 
the manufacturing establishments of the country were, to a great 
extent, swept away, and the raw material of cloth was again com- 
pelled to travel to a distance in search of the spindle and the 
loom, the export of which from England, as well as of colliers 
and artisans, was, as the reader has seen, prohibited. But very 
few years, however, elapsed before it became evident that the 
people were becoming poorer, and the land becoming exhausted, 
and then it was that were commenced the smaller Unions for the 
purpose of bringing the loom to take its natural place by the side 
of the plough and the harrow. Step by step they grew in size 
and strength, until, in 1835, only twenty years after the battle of 
Waterloo, was formed the Zoll-Yerein, or great German Union, 
under which the internal commerce was rendered almost entirely 
free, while the external one was subjected to certain restraints, 
having for their object to cause the artisan to come and place him- 
self where food and wool were cheap, in accordance with the 
doctrines of Adam Smith. 

In 1825, Germany exported almost thirty millions of pounds 
of raw wool to England, where it was subjected to a duty of twelve 
cents per pound for the privilege of passing through the machinery 
there provided for its manufacture into cloth. Since that time, 
the product has doubled, and yet not only has the export almost 
ceased, but much foreign wool is now imported for the purpose of 
mixing with that produced at home. The effect of this has, of 
course, been to make a large market for both food and wool that 
would otherwise have been pressed on the market of England, with 
great reduction in the price of both ; and woollen cloths are now so 
cheaply produced in Germany, that they are exported to almost 
all parts of the world. Wool is higher and cloth is lower, and, 
therefore, it is, as we shall see, that the people are now so much 
better clothed. 


At the date of the formation of the Union, the total import of 
raw cotton and cotton yarn was about 300,000 cwts., but so rapid 
was the extension of the manufacture, that in less than six years 
it had doubled, and so cheaply were cotton goods supplied, that a 
large export trade had already arisen. In 1845, when the Union 
was but ten years old, the import of cotton and yarn had reached a 
million of hundredweights, and since that time there has been a 
large increase. The iron manufacture, also, grew so rapidly that 
whereas, in 1834, the consumption had been only eleven pounds 
per head, in 1847 it had risen to twenty-five pounds, having thus 
more than doubled ; and with each step in this direction, the people 
were obtaining better machinery for cultivating the land and for 
converting its raw products into manufactured ones. 

In no country has there been a more rapid increase in this di- 
versification of employments, and increase in the demand for labour, 
than in Germany since the formation of the Union. Everywhere 
throughout the country men are now becoming enabled to combine 
the labours of the workshop with those of the field and the garden, 
and " the social and economical results" of this cannot, says Mr. 

"Be rated too highly. The interchange of garden-labour with 
manufacturing employments, which is advantageous to the operative 
who works in his own house, is a real luxury and necessity for the 
factory operative, whose occupations are almost always necessarily 
prejudicial to health. After his day's labour in the factories, he ex- 
periences a physical reinvigoration from moderate labour in the open 
air, and, moreover, he derives from it some economical advantages. 
He is enabled by this means to cultivate at least part of the vegetables 
which his family require for their consumption, instead of having to 
purchase them in the market at a considerable outlay. He can 
sometimes, also, keep a cow, which supplies his family with milk, and 
provides a healthy occupation for his wife and children when they 
leave the factory." 

As a necessary consequence of this creation of a domestic mar- 
ket, the farmer has ceased to be compelled to devote himself 
exclusively to the production of wheat, or other articles of small 
bulk and large price, and can now " have a succession of crops," 
says Mr. Howitt — 

* The Social Condition and Education of the People of England and Europe, i. 256. 


"Like a market-gardener. They have their carrots, poppies, hemp, 
fax, saintfoin, lucerne, rape, colewort, cabbage, rutabaga, black tur- 
nips, Swedish and white turnips, teazles, Jerusalem artichokes, mangel- 
wurzel, parsnips, kidney-beans, field beans and peas, vetches, Indian 
corn, buckwheat, madder for the manufacturer, potatoes, their great 
crop of tobacco, millet — all or the greater part under the family ma- 
nagement, in their own family allotments. They have had these things 
first to sow. many of them to transplant, to hoe, to weed, to clear off 
insects, to top ; many of them to mow and gather in successive crops. 
They have their water-meadows — of which kind almost all their mea- 
dows are — to flood, to mow, and reflood ; watercourses to reopen and 
to make anew; their early fruits to gather, to bring to market, with 
their green crops of vegetables : their cattle, sheep, calves, fowls, (most 
of them prisoners,) and poultry to look after; their vines, as they 
shoot rampantly in the summer heat, to prune, and thin out the leaves 
when they are too thick ; and any one may imagine what a scene of 
incessant labour it is." — Rural and Domestic Life in Germany, p. 50. 

The existence of a domestic market enables them, of course, to 
manure their land. " No means/' says Mr. Kay — 

" Are spared to make the ground produce as much as possible. Xot 
a square yard of land is uncultivated or unused. No stones are left 
mingled with the soil. The ground is cleared of weeds and rubbish, 
and the lumps of earth are broken up with as much care as in an 
English garden. If it is meadow land, it is cleaned of obnoxious herbs 
and weeds. Only the sweet grasses which are good for the cattle are 
allowed to grow. All the manure from the house, farm, and yard is 
carefully collected and scientifically prepared. The liquid manure is 
then carried in hand-carts like our road-watering carts into the fields, 
and is watered over the meadows in equal proportions. The solid 
manures are broken up, cleared of stones and rubbish, and are then 
properly mixed and spread over the lands which require them. No 
room is lost in hedges or ditches, and no breeding-places are left for 
the vermin which in many parts of England do so much injury to the 
farmers' crops. The character of the soil of each district is carefully 
examined, and a suitable rotation of crops is chosen, so as to obtain 
the greatest possible return without injuring the land ; and the cattle 
are well housed, are kept beautifully clean, and are groomed and 
tended like the horses of our huntsmen." — Vol. i. 118. 

The labours of the field have become productive, and there has 
been excited, says Dr. Shubert — 

" A singular and increasing interest in agriculture and in the 
breeding of cattle ; and if in some localities, on account of peculiar 
circumstances or of a less degree of intelligence, certain branches of 
the science of agriculture are less developed than in other localities, it 
is, nevertheless, undeniable that an almost universal progress has 
been made in the cultivation of the soil and in the breeding of cattle. 
No one can any longer, as was the custom thirty years ago, describe 


the Prussian system of agriculture by the single appellation of the 
three-year-course system ; no man can, as formerly, confine his enu- 
meration of richly-cultivated districts to a few localities. In the 
present day, there is no district of Prussia in which intelligence, per- 
severing energy, and an ungrudged expenditure of capital, has not 
immensely improved a considerable part of the country for the pur- 
poses of agriculture and of the breeding of cattle."* 

Speaking of that portion of Germany which lies on the Rhine 

and the Neckar, Professor Rau, of Heidelberg, says that— 

"Whoever travels hastily through this part of the country must 
have been agreeably surprised with the luxuriant vegetation of the 
fields, with the orchards and vineyards which cover the hillsides, with 
the size of the villages, with the breadth of their streets, with the 
beauty of their official buildings, with the cleanliness and stateliness 
of their houses, with the good clothing in which the people appear at 
their festivities, and with the universal proofs of a prosperity which 
has been caused by industry and skill, and which has survived all the 
political changes of the times. * * * The unwearied assiduity 
of the peasants — who are to be seen actively employed the whole of* 
every year and of every day, and who are never idle, because they 
understand how to arrange their work, and how to set apart for every 
time and season its appropriate duties — is as remarkable as their 
eagerness to avail themselves of every circumstance and of every new 
invention which can aid them, and their ingenuity in improving their 
resources, are praiseworthy. It is easy to perceive that the peasant 
of this district really understands his business. He can give reasons 
for the occasional failures of his operations ; he knows and remembers 
clearly his pecuniary resources ; he arranges his choice of fruits ac- 
cording to their prices ; and he makes his calculations by the general 
signs and tidings of the weather." — LandwiHhshaft der Rlieinpfalz. 

The people of this country " stand untutored," says Mr. Kay, 
" except by experience ; but," he continues — 

" Could the tourist hear these men in their blouses and thick gaiters 
converse on the subject, he would be surprised at the mass of practical 
knowledge they possess, and at the caution and yet the keenness with 
which they study these advantages. Of this all may rest assured, 
that from the commencement of the offsets of the Eifel, where the 
village cultivation assumes an individual and strictly local character, 
good reason can be given for the manner in which every inch of 
ground is laid out, as for every balm, root, or tree that covers it." — 
Vol. i. 130. 

The system of agriculture is making rapid progress, as is always 
the case when the artisan is brought to the side of the husbandman. 
Constant intercourse with each other sharpens the intellect, and 

* Handbuch der Allgemeinen Staatskunde, vol. ii. 5, quoted by Kay, vol. i. 120. 


men learn to know the extent of their powers. Each step up- 
ward is but the preparation for a new and greater one, and 
therefore it is that everywhere among those small farmers, says 
Mr. Kay, "science is welcomed/' " Each," he continues — 

" Is so anxious to emulate and surpass his neighbours, that any 
new invention, which benefits one, is eagerly sought out and adopted 
by the others." — Vol. i. 149. 

The quantity of stock that is fed is constantly and rapidly in- 
creasing, and, as a necessary consequence, the increase in the 
quantity of grain is more rapid than in the population, although 
that of Prussia and Saxony now increases faster than that of any 
other nation of Europe.* 

The land of Germany is much divided. A part of this divi- 
sion was the work of governments which interfered between the 
owners and the peasants, and gave to the latter absolute rights 
over a part of the land they cultivated, instead of previous claims 
to rights of so uncertain a kind as rendered the peasant a mere 
slave to the land-owner. Those rights, however, could not have 
been maintained had not the policy of the government tended to 
promote the growth of population and wealth. Centralization 
would have tended to the reconsolidation of the land, as it has 
done in India, Ireland, Scotland, and England ; but decentraliza- 
tion here gives value to land, and aids in carrying out the system 
commenced by government. Professor Reichenspergerf says — 

"That the price of land which, is divided into small properties, in 
the Prussian Rhine provinces, is much higher, and has been rising 
much more rapidly, than the price of land on the great estates. He 
and Professor Rau both say that this rise in the price of the small es- 
tates would have ruined the more recent purchasers, unless the pro- 
ductiveness of the small estates had increased in at least an equal pro- 
portion ; and as the small proprietors have been gradually becoming 
more and more prosperous, notwithstanding the increasing prices they 
have paid for their land, he argues, with apparent justness, that this 

* Until recently, the increase of Great Britain has been slightly greater than 
that of Prussia, the former having grown at the rate of 1.95 per cent, per annum, 
and the latter at that of 1.84; hut the rate of growth of the former has recently 
much diminished, and all growth has now probably ceased. 

| Die Agrarfrage. 



■would seem to show that not only the gross profits of the small estates, 
but the net profits also, have been gradually increasing, and that the 
net profits per acre of land, when farmed by small proprietors, are 
greater than the net profits per acre of land farmed by great proprie- 
tors." — Kay, vol. i. 116. 

The admirable effect of the division of land, which follows neces- 
sarily in the wake of the growth of population and wealth, is thus 
described by Sismondi : — * 

"Wherever are found peasant proprietors, are also found that 
ease, that security, that independence, and that confidence in the 
future, which insure at the same time happiness and virtue. The 
peasant who, with his family, does all the work on his little inherit- 
ance, who neither pays rent to any one above him, nor wages to any 
one below him, who regulates his production by his consumption, who 
eats his own corn, drinks his own wine, and is clothed with his own 
flax and wool, cares little about knowing the price of the market ; for 
he has little to sell and little to buy, and is never ruined by the revo- 
lutions of commerce. Far from fearing for the future, it is embellished 
by his hopes ; for he puts out to profit, for his children or for ages to 
come, every instant which is not required by the labour of the year. 
Only a few moments, stolen from otherwise lost time, are required to 
put into the ground the nut which in a hundred years will become a 
large tree ; to hollow out the aqueduct which will drain his field for 
ever ; to form the conduit which will bring him a spring of water ; to 
improve, by many little labours and attentions bestowed in spare mo- 
ments, all the kinds of animals and vegetables by which he is sur- 
rounded. This little patrimony is a true savings-bank, always ready 
to receive his little profits, and usefully to employ his leisure moments. 
The ever-acting powers of nature make his labours fruitful, and return 
to him a hundredfold. The peasant has a strong sense of the happi- 
ness attached to the condition of proprietor. Thus he is always eager 
to purchase land at any price. He pays for it more than it is worth ; 
but what reason he has to esteem at a high price the advantage of 
thenceforward always employing his labour advantageously, without 
being obliged to offer it cheap, and of always finding his bread when 
he wants it, without being obliged to buy it dear \" — Kay, vol. i. 153. 

The German people borrow from the earth, and they pay their 
debts; and this they are enabled to do because the market is every- 
where near, and becoming nearer every day, as, with the increase 
of population and wealth, men are enabled to obtain better ma- 
chinery of conversion and transportation. They are, therefore, 
says Mr. Kay — 

" Gradually acquiring capital, and their great ambition is to have 

* Etudes sur l'Economie Politique. 


land of their own. They eagerly seize every opportunity of purchas- 
ing a small farm ; and the price is so raised by the competition, that 
land pays little more than two per cent, interest for the purchase- 
money. Large properties gradually disappear, and are divided into 
small portions, which sell at a high rate. But the wealth and industry 
of the population is continually increasing, being rather through the 
masses, than accumulated in individuals." — Vol. i. 183. 

The disappearance of large properties in Germany proceeds, pari 
passu, with the disappearance of small ones in England. If the 
reader desire to know the views of Adam Smith as to the relative 
advantages of the two systems, he may turn to the description, 
from his pen, of the feelings of the small proprietor, given in a 
former chapter;* after which he may profit by reading the follow- 
ing remarks of Mr. Kay, prompted by his observation of the 
course of things in Germany : — 

" But there can be no doubt that five acres, the property of an intel- 
ligent peasant, who farms it himself, in a country where the peasants 
have learned to farm, will always produce much more per acre than 
an equal number of acres will do when farmed by a mere leasehold 
tenant. In the case of the peasant proprietor, the increased activity 
and energy of the farmer, and the deep interest he feels in the im- 
provement of his land, which are always caused by the fact of owner- 
ship, more than compensate the advantage arising from the fact that 
the capital required to work the large farm is less in proportion to the 
quantity of land cultivated than the capital required to work the small 
farm. In the cases of a large farm and of a small farm, the occu- 
piers of which are both tenants of another person, and not owners 
themselves, it may be true that the produce of the large farm will be 
greater in proportion to the capital employed in cultivation than that 
of the small farm ; and that, therefore, the farming of the larger farm 
will be the most economical, and will render the largest rent to the 
landlord."— Vol. i. 113. 

Land is constantly changing hands, and "people of all classes/' 
says Mr. Kay — 

"Are able to become proprietors. Shopkeepers and labourers of the 
towns purchase gardens outside the towns, where they and their fami- 
lies work in the fine evenings, in raising vegetables and fruit for the 
use of their households ; shopkeepers, who have laid by a little compe- 
tence, purchase farms, to which they and their families retire from the 
toil and disquiet of a town life ; farmers purchase the farms they used 
formerly to rent of great land-owners ; while most of the peasants of 

* Page 51, ante. 


these countries have purchased and live upon farms of their own, or 
are now economizing and laying by all that they can possibly spare 
from their earnings, in order therewith as soon as possible to purchase 
a farm or a garden." — Vol. i. 58. 

We have here the strongest inducements to exertion and econo- 
my. Every man seeks to have a little farm, or a garden, of his 
own, and all have, says Mr. Kay — 

"The consciousness that they have their fate in their own hands; 
that their station in life depends upon their own exertions ; that they 
can rise in the world, if they will only be patient and laborious enough ; 
that they can gain an independent position by industry and economy ; 
that they are not cut off by an insurmountable barrier from the next 
step in the social scale ; that it is possible to purchase a house and 
farm of their own ; and that the more industrious and prudent they 
are, the better will be the position of their families : [and this conscious- 
ness] gives the labourers of those countries, where the land is not tied 
up in the hands of a few, an elasticity of feeling, a hopefulness, an 
energy, a pleasure in economy and labour, a distaste for expenditure 
upon gross sensual enjoyments, — which would only diminish the gra- 
dually increasing store, — and an independence of character, which the 
dependent and helpless labourers of the other country can never expe- 
rience. In short, the life of a peasant in those countries where the 
land is not kept from subdividing by the laws is one of the highest 
moral education. His unfettered position stimulates him to better his 
condition, to economize, to be industrious, to husband his powers, to 
acquire moral habits, to use foresight, to gain knowledge about agri- 
culture, and to give his children a good education, so that they may 
improve the patrimony and social position he will bequeath to them." 

We have here the stimulus of hope of improvement — a state of 
things widely different from that described in a former chapter in 
relation to England, where, says the Times, " once a peasant, a 
man must remain a peasant for ever." Such is the difference be- 
tween the one system, that looks to centralizing in the hands of a 
few proprietors of machinery power over the lives and fortunes of 
all the cultivators of the world, and the other, that looks to giving 
to all those cultivators power over themselves. The first is the 
system of slavery, and the last that of freedom. 

Hope is the mother of industry, and industry in her turn begets 
temperance. " In the German and Swiss towns," says Mr. Kay — 

" There are no places to be compared to those sources of the demo- 
ralization of our town poor — the gin-palaces. There is very little 


drunkenness in either towns or villages, while the absence of the 
gin-palaces removes from the young the strong causes of degrada- 
tion and corruption which exist at the doors of the English homes, 
affording scenes and temptations which cannot but inflict upon our 
labouring classes moral injury which they would not otherwise suffer." 
* * * u The total absence of intemperance and drunkenness at 
these, and indeed at all other fetes in Germany, is very singular. I 
never saw a drunken man either in Prussia or Saxony, and I was as- 
sured by every one that such a sight was rare. I believe the temper- 
ance of the poor to be owing to the civilizing effects of their education 
in the schools and in the army, to the saving and careful habits which 
the possibility of purchasing land, and the longing to purchase it, nou- 
rish in their minds, and to their having higher and more pleasurable 
amusements than the alehouse and hard drinking." — Vol. i. 247, 261. 

As a natural consequence of this, pauperism is rare, as will be 
seen by the following extract from a report of the Prussian Minis- 
ter of Statistics, given by Mr. Kay : — 

"As our Prussian agriculture raises so much more meat and bread 
on the same extent of territory than it used to do, it follows that agri- 
culture must have been greatly increased both in science and industry. 
There are other facts which confirm the truth of this conclusion. The 
division of estates has, since 1831, proceeded more and more through- 
out the country. There are now many more small independent pro- 
prietors than formerly. Yet, however many complaints of pauperism 
are heard among the dependent labourers, we never heard it com- 
TORS. Xor do we hear that the estates of the peasants in the eastern pro- 
vinces are becoming too small, or that the system of freedom of disposition 
leads to too great a division of the father's land among the children." 
* * * "It is an almost universally acltnoidedged fact that the gross 
produce of the land, in grain, potatoes, and cattle, is increased u-hen the 
land is cultivated by those who oicn small portions of it ; and if this had 
not been the case, it would have been impossible to raise as much of 
the necessary ai-ticles of food as has been wanted fur the increasing 
population. Even on the larger estates, the improvement in the sys- 
tem of agriculture is too manifest to admit of any doubt. . .^ . . 
Industry, and capital, and labour are expended upon the soil. It is 
rendered productive by means of manuring and careful tillage. The 
amount of the produce is increased. . . . The prices of the estates, 
on account of their increased productiveness, have increased. The 
great commons, many acres of which used to lie wholly uncultivated, 
are disappearing, and are being turned into meadows and fields. The 
cultivation of potatoes has increased very considerably. Greater plots 
of lands are now devoted to the cultivation of potatoes than ever used 
to be. . . . The old system of the three-field system of agriculture, 
according to Avhich one-third of the field used to be left always fallow, 
in order to recruit the land, is now scarcely ever to be met with. . . 
With respect to the cattle, the farmers now labour to improve the 



breed. Sheep-breeding is rationally and scientifically pursued on the 
great estates. ... A remarkable activity in agricultural pursuits 
has been raised ; and, as all attempts to improve agriculture are en- 
couraged and assisted by the present government, agricultural colleges 
are founded, agricultural associations of scientific farmers meet in all 
provinces to suggest improvements to aid in carrying out experiments, 
and even the peasant proprietors form such associations among them- 
selves, and establish model farms and institutions for themselves." — 
Vol. i. 265. 

The English system, which looks to the consolidation of land 
and the aggrandizement of the large capitalist, tends, on the con- 
trary, to deprive the labourer 

" Of every worldly inducement to practise self-denial, prudence, and 
economy ; it deprives him of every hope of rising in the world ; it 
makes him totally careless about self-improvement, about the institu- 
tions of his country, and about the security of property ; it undermines 
all his independence of character ; it makes him dependent on the 
workhouse, or on the charity he can obtain by begging at the hall : 
and it renders him the fawning follower of the all-powerful land- 
owner."— Vol. i. 290. 

The change that has taken place in the consumption of clothing 
is thus shown : — 

Per head in 1805. In 1842. 

Ells of cloth i 1| 

" linen 4 5 

" woollen stuffs.... f 13 

" silks | f 

u The Sunday suit of the peasants/' says Mr. Kay — 

" In Germany, Switzerland, and Holland rivals that of the middle 
classes. A stranger taken into the rooms where the village dances 
are held, and where the young men and young women are dressed in 
their best clothes, would often be unable to tell what class of people 
were around him." * * * " It is very curious and interesting, at 
the provincial fairs, to see not only what a total absence there is of 
any thing like the rags and filth of pauperism, but also what evidence 
of comfort and prosperitv there is in the clean and comfortable attire 
of the women."— Vol. i. 225, 227. 

In further evidence of the improvement of the condition of the 
female sex, he tells us that 

" An Englishman, taken to the markets, fairs, and village festivals 
of these countries, would scarcely credit his eyes were he to see the 
peasant-girls who meet there to join in the festivities ; they are so 


much more lady-like in their appearance, in their manners, and in 
their dress than those of our country parishes." — Vol. i. 31. 

The contrast between the education of the children of the poor 
in Germany and England is thus shown : — 

" I advise my readers to spend a few hours in any of our back streets 
and alleys, those nurseries of vice and feeders of the jails, and to as- 
sure himself that children of the same class as those he will see in [these] 
haunts — dirty, rude, boisterous, playing in the mud with uncombed 
hair, filthy and torn garments, and skin that looks as if it had not 
been washed for months — are always, throughout Germany, Switzer- 
land, Denmark, Holland, and a great part of France, either in school 
or in the school play-ground, clean, well-dressed, polite and civil in 
their manners, and healthy, intelligent, and happy in their appear- 
ance. It is this difference in the early life of the poor of the towns of 
these countries which explains the astonishing improvement which has 
taken place in the state of the back streets and alleys of many of their 
towns. The majority of their town poor are growing up with tastes 
which render them unfit to endure such degradation as the filth and 
misery of our town pauperism." — Vol. i. 198. 

As a natural consequence, there is that tendency toward equality 
which everywhere else is attendant on real freedom. " The differ- 
ence/' says Mr. Kay — 

"Between the condition of the juvenile population of these countries 
and of our own may be imagined, when I inform my readers that many 
of the boys and girls of the higher classes of society in these countries 
are educated at the same desks with the boys and girls of the poorest 
of the people, and that children comparable with the class which at- 
tends our ' ragged schools' are scarcely ever to be found. How impos- 
sible it would be to induce our gentry to let their children be educated 
with such children as frequent the ' ragged schools/ I need not remind 
my readers." — P. 101. 

This tendency to equality is further shown in the following 
passage : — 

" The manners ot the peasants in Germany and Switzerland form, 
as I have already said, a very singular contrast to the manners of our 
peasants. They are polite, but independent. The manner of saluta- 
tion encourages this feeling. If a German gentleman addresses a pea- 
sant, he raises his hat before the poor man, as we do before ladies. 
The peasant replies by a polite ' Pray be covered, sir/ and then, in 
good German, answers the questions put to him." — P. 159. 

With growing tendency to equality of fortune, as the people 
pass from slavery toward freedom, there is less of ostentatious dis- 


play, and less necessity for that slavish devotion to labour remarked 
in England. ',' All classes," says Mr. Kay — 

" In Germany, Switzerland, France, and Holland are therefore satis- 
fied with less income than the corresponding classes in England. 
They, therefore, devote less time to labour, and more time to healthy 
and improving recreation. The style of living among the mercantile 
classes of these countries is much simpler than in England, but their 
enjoyment of life is much greater/' — Vol. i. 303. 

As a consequence of this, the amusements of their leisure hours 
are of a more improving character, as is here seen : — 

" The amusements of the peasants and operatives in the greater part 
of Germanj'-, Switzerland, and Holland, where they are well educated, 
and where they are generally proprietors of farms or gardens, are of a 
much higher and of a much more healthy character than those of the 
most prosperous of similar classes in England. Indeed, it may be 
safely affirmed that the amusements of the poor in Germany are of 
a higher character than the amusements of the lower part of the 
middle classes in England. This may at first seem a rather bold as- 
sertion ; but it will not be thought so, when I have shown what their 
amusements are. 

" The gardens, which belong to the town labourers and small shop- 
keepers, afford their proprietors the healthiest possible kind of recrea- 
tion after the labours of the day. But, independently of this, the 
mere. amusements of the poor of these countries prove the civilization, 
the comfort, and the prosperity of their social state." * * * * 
" There are, perhaps, no peasantry in the world who have so much 
healthy recreation and amusement as the peasants of Germany, and 
especially as those of Prussia and Saxony. In the suburbs of all the 
towns of Prussia and Saxony regular garden concerts and promenades 
are given. An admittance fee of from one penny to sixpence admits 
any one to these amusements." * * * " I went constantly to these 
garden-concerts. I rejoiced to see that it was possible for the richest 
and the poorest of the people to find a common meeting ground ; that 
the poor did not live for labour only ; and that the schools had taught 
the poor to find pleasure in such improving and civilizing pleasures. 
I saw daily proofs at these meetings of the excellent effects of the social 
system of Germany. I learned there how high a civilization the poorer 
classes of a nation are capable of attaining under a well-arranged sys- 
tem of those laws which affect the social condition of a people. I found 
proofs at these meetings of the truth of that which I am anxious to teach 
my countrymen, that the poorer classes of Germany are much less pau- 
perized, much more civilized, and much happier than our own pea- 
santry." * * * " The dancing itself, even in those tents frequented 
by the poorest peasants, is quite as good, and is conducted with quite 
as much decorum, as that of the first ballrooms of London. The polka, 
the waltz, and several dances not known in England, are danced by 
the German peasants with great elegance. They dance quicker than 


we do ; and, from the training in music -which they receive from their 
childhood, and for many years of their lives, the poorest peasants 
dance in much better time than English people generally do." — Vol. i. 
235, 237, 240, 244. 

How strikingly does the following view of the state of education 
contrast with that given in a former chapter in relation to the 
education of the poor of England ! — 

" Four years ago the Prussian government made a general inquiry 
throughout the kingdom, to discover how far the school education of 
the people had been extended ; and it was then ascertained that, out 
of all the young men in the kingdom who had attained the age of 
twenty-one years, only two in every hundred were unable fo read. This 
fact was communicated to me by the Inspector-General of the kingdom. 

" The poor of these countries read a great deal more than even those 
of our own country who are able to read. It is a general custom in 
Germany and Switzerland for four or live families of labourers to club 
together, and to subscribe among themselves for one or two of the 
newspapers which come out once or twice a week. These papers are 
passed from family to family, or are interchanged." * * * "I 
remember one day, when walking near Berlin in the company of 
Herr Hintz, a professor in Dr. Diesterweg's Normal College, and of 
another teacher, we saw a poor woman cutting up in the road logs of 
wood for winter use. My companions pointed her out to me, and said, 
' Perhaps you will scarcely believe it, but in the neighbourhood of Ber- 
lin poor women, like that one, read translations of Sir Walter Scott's 
novels, and of many of the interesting works of your language, besides 
those of the principal writers of Germany/ This account was after- 
ward confirmed by the testimony of several other persons. 

" Often and often have I seen the poor cab-drivers of Berlin, while 
waiting for a fare, amusing themselves by reading German books, 
which they had brought with them in the morning expressly for the 
purpose of supplying amusement and occupation for their leisure 

In many parts of these countries, the peasants and the workmen of 
the towns attend regular weekly lectures or weekly classes, where 
they practise singing or chanting, or learn mechanical drawing, his- 
tory, or science. 

" As will be seen afterward, women as well as men, girls as well as 
boys, enjoy in these countries the same advantages, and go through 
the same school education. The women of the poorer classes of these 
countries, in point of intelligence and knowledge, are almost equal to 
the men". — P. 03, 66. 

These facts would seem fully to warrant the author in his ex- 
pression of the belief that 

" The moral, intellectual, and social condition of the peasants and 
operatives of those parts of Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and Franc,-; 


■where the poor have been educated, where the land has been released 
from the feudal la-ws, and -where the peasants have been enabled ta 
acquire, is very much higher, happier, and more satisfactory than that 
of the peasants and operatives of England ; and that while these latter 
are straggling in the deepest ignorance, pauperism, and moral degra- 
dation, the former are steadily and progressively attaining a condition, 
both socially and politically considered, of a higher, happier, and more 
hopeful character." — Vol. i. 7. 

The extensive possession of property produces here, as every- 
where, respect for the rights of property. "In the neighbourhood 
of towns," says Mr. Kay — 

" The land is scarcely any more enclosed, except in the case of the 
small gardens which surround the houses, than in the more rural dis- 
tricts. Yet this right is seldom abused. The condition of the lands near 
a German, or Swiss, or Dutch town is as orderly, as neat, and as un- 
disturbed by trespassers as in the most secluded and most strictly 
preserved of our rural districts. All the poor have friends or relations 
•who are themselves proprietors. Every man, however poor, feels that 
he himself may, some day or other, become a proprietor. All are, con- 
sequently, immediately interested in the preservation of property, and 
in watching over the rights and interests of their neighbours." — P. 249. 

How strongly the same cause tends to the maintenance of 
public order, may be seen on a perusal of the following pas- 

" Every peasant who possesses one of these estates becomes inte- 
rested in the maintenance of public order, in the tranquillity of the 
country, in the suppression of crimes, in the fostering of industry 
among his own children, and in the promotion of their intelligence. 
A class of peasant proprietors forms the strongest of all conservative 
classes." * * * " Throughout all the excitement of the revolutions 
of 1848, the peasant proprietors of France, Germany, Holland, and 
Switzerland were almost universally found upon the side of order, and 
opposed to revolutionary excesses. It was only in the provinces where 
the land was divided among the nobles, and where the peasants were 
only serfs, as in the Polish provinces, Bohemia, Austria, and some 
parts of South Germany, that they showed themselves rebellious. In 
Prussia they sent deputation after deputation to Frederic William, to 
assure him of their support ; in one province the peasant proprietors 
elected his brother as their representative; and in others they declared, 
by petition after petition forwarded to the chamber, and by the results 
of the elections, how strongly they were opposed to the anarchical party 
in Berlin "—Vol. i. 33, 273. 

It is where land acquires value that men become free, and the 
more rapid the growth of value in land, the more rapid has ever 


been the growth of freedom. To enable it to acquire value, the 
artisan and the ploughman must take their places by the side of 
each other; and the greater the tendency to this, the more rapid 
will be the progress of man toward moral, intellectual, and politi- 
cal elevation. It is in this direction that all the policy of Ger- 
many now tends, whereas that of England tends toward destroying 
everywhere the value of labour and land, and everywhere impair- 
ing the condition of man. The one system tends to the establish- 
ment everywhere of mills, furnaces, and towns, places of exchange, 
in accordance with the view of Dr. Smith, who tells us that " had 
human institutions never disturbed the natural course of things, 
the progressive wealth and increase of the towns would, in every 
political society, be consequential and in proportion to the improve- 
ment and cultivation of the territory and country." The other 
tends toward building up London and Liverpool, Manchester and 
Birmingham, at the cost of enormous taxation imposed upon all the 
farmers and planters of the world; and its effects in remote parts 
of the United Kingdom itself, compared with those observed in 
Germany, are thus described : — 

" If any one has travelled in the mountainous parts of Scotland and 
Wales, where the farmers are only under-lessees of great landlords, 
■without security of tenure, and liable to be turned out of possession 
with half a year's notice, and where the peasants are only labourers, 
without any land of their own, and generally without even the use of 
a garden ; if he has travelled in the mountainous parts of Switzerland, 
Saxony, and the hilly parts of the Prussian Rhine provinces, where 
most of the farmers and peasants possess, or can by economy and in- 
dustry obtain, land of their own ; and if he has paid any serious atten- 
tion to the condition of the farms, peasants, and children of these 
several countries, he cannot fail to have observed the astonishing 
superiority of the condition of the peasants, children, and farms in 
the last-mentioned countries. 

" The miserable cultivation, the undrained and rush-covered valleys, 
the great number of sides of hills, terraces on the rocks, sides of streams, 
and other places capable of the richest cultivation, but wholly disused, 
even for game preserves ; the vast tracts of the richest lands lying in 
moors, and bogs, and swamps, and used only for the breeding-places 
of game, and deer, and vermin, while the poor peasants are starving 
beside them ; the miserable huts of cottages, with their one story, 
their two low rooms, their wretched and undrained floors, and their 
dilapidated roofs ; and the crowds of miserable, half-clad, ragged, dirty, 
uncombed, and unwashed - children, never blessed with any education, 


never trained in cleanliness or morality, and never taught any pure 
religion, are as astounding on the one hand as the happy condition of 
the peasants in the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, in the Tyrol, in 
Saxony, and in the mountainous parts of the Prussian Rhine provinces, 
is pleasing upon the other — where every plot of land that catt bear any 
thing is brought into the most beautiful state of cultivation ; where the 
valleys are richly and scientifically farmed ; where the manures are 
collected with the greatest care ; where the houses are generally large, 
roomy, well-built, and in excellent repair, and are improving every 
day ; where the children are beautifully clean, comfortably dressed, 
and attending excellent schools ; and where the condition of the peo- 
ple is one of hope, industry, and progress." — Vol. i. 140. 

The artisan has ever been the ally of the farmer in his contests 
with those who sought to tax him, let the form of taxation be 
what it might. The tendency of the British system is everywhere 
toward separating the two, and using each to crush the other. 
Hence it is that in all the countries subject to the system there is 
an abjectness of spirit not to be found in other parts of the world. 
The vices charged by the English journals on the people of Ire- 
land are those of slavery — falsehood and dissimulation. The Hin- 
doo of Bengal is a mean and crouching animal, compared with the 
free people of the upper country who have remained under their 
native princes. Throughout England there is a deference to rank, 
a servility, a toadyism, entirely inconsistent with progress in civil- 
ization.*. The English labourer is, says Mr. Howitt — f 

" So cut off from the idea of property, that he comes habitually to 
look upon it as a thing from which he is warned by the laws of the 
great proprietors, and becomes in consequence spiritless, purposeless." 

Compare with this the following description of a German bauer, 
from the same authority : — 

" The German bauer, on the contrary, looks on the country as made 
for him and his fellow-men. He feels himself a man ; he has a stake 
in the country as good as that of the bulk of his neighbours ; no man 

* In no other country than England would the editor of a daily journal inflict 
upon his readers throughout the kingdom whole columns occupied with the names 
of persons present at a private entertainment, and with the dresses of the ladies. 
Where centralization has reached a height like this, we need scarcely be sur- 
prised to learn that there is but one paying daily newspaper for a population of 
more than seventeen millions. 

f Rural and Domestic Life in Germany, 27. 


can threaten him with ejection or the workhouse so long n« lie is active 
and economical. He walks, therefore, with a bold step : h< j tooka vui 
in the face with the air of a free man, but of a respectful one." — 

The reader may now advantageously compare the progress of the 
last half century in Ireland and in Germany. Doing so, he will see 
that in the former there has been a steady tendency to the expul- 
sion of the mechanic, the exhaustion of the soil, the consolidation 
of the land, and the resolution of the whole nation into a mass of 
wretched tenants at will, holding under the middleman agent of 
the great absentee landlord, with constant decline in the material, 
moral, and intellectual condition of all classes of society, and con- 
stantly increasing inability on the part of the nation to assert its 
rights. Seventy years since the Irish people extorted the admission 
of their right to legislate for themselves, whereas now the total dis- 
appearance of the nation from among the communities of the world 
is regarded as a thing to be prayed for, and a calculation is made 
that but twenty-four more years will be required, at the present 
rate, for its total extinction. In Germany, on the contrary, the 
mechanic is everywhere invited, and towns are everywhere growing. 
The soil is being everywhere enriched, and agricultural knowledge 
is being diffused throughout the nation ; and land so rapidly ac- 
quires value that it is becoming more divided from day to day. 
The proprietor is everywhere taking the place of the serf, and the 
demand for labour becomes steady and man becomes valuable. 
The people are everywhere improving in their material and moral 
condition ; and so rapid is the improvement of intellectual condi- 
tion, that German literature now commands the attention of the 
whole civilized world. With each step in this direction, there is 
an increasing tendency toward union and peace, whereas as Ireland 
declines there is 'an increasing tendency toward discord, violence, 
and crime. Having studied these things, the reader may then call 
to mind that Ireland has thus declined, although, in the whole 
half century, her soil has never been pressed by the foot of an 
enemy in arms, whereas Germany has thus improved, although 
repeatedly overrun and plundered by hostile armies. 





Among the nations of the world whose policy looks to carrying 
out the views of Adam Smith, in bringing the artisan as near as 
possible to the food and the wool, Russia stauds distinguished. 
The information we have in reference to the movements of that 
country is limited ; but all of it tends to prove that with the 
growth of population and wealth, and with the increased diversifi- 
cation of labour, land is acquiring value, and man is advancing 
rapidly toward freedom. " The industry of Russia/' says a re- 
cent American journal — 

"Has been built up, as alone the industry of a nation can be, un- 
der a system of protection, from time to time modified as experience 
has dictated ; but never destroyed by specious abstractions or the dog- 
mas of mere doctrinaires. Fifty years ago manufactures were un- 
known there, and the caravans trading to the interior and supplying 
the wants of distant tribes in Asia went laden with the products of 
British and other foreign workshops. When the present emperor 
mounted the throne, in 1825, the country could not produce the cloth 
required to uniform its own soldiers ; further back, in 1800, the ex- 
portation of coloured cloth was prohibited under severe penalties ; but 
through the influence of adequate protection, as early as 1834, Rus- 
sian cloth was taken by the caravans to Kiachta; and at this day 
the markets of all Central Asia are supplied by the fabrics of Russian 
looms, which in AfFghanistan and China are crowding British cloths 
entirely out of sale — notwithstanding the latter have the advantage in 
transportation — while in Tartary and Russia itself British woollens 
are now scarcely heard of. In 1812 there were in Russia 13G cloth 
factories; in 1824, 324; in 1812 there were 129 cotton factories; in 
1824, 484. From 1812 to 1839 the whole number of manufacturing 
establishments in the empire more than trebled, and since then they 
have increased in a much greater ratio, though from the absence of 
official statistics we are not able to give the figures. Of the total 
amount of manufactured articles consumed in 1843, but one-sixth 
were imported. And along with this vast aggrandizement of manu- 
facturing industry and commerce, there has been a steady increase of 
both imports and exports, as well as of revenue from customs. The 
increase in imports has consisted of articles of luxury and raw ma- 
terials for manufacture. And, as if to leave nothing wanting in the 
demonstration, the increase of exports has constantly included more and 


more of the products of agriculture. Thus in this empire wo see what 
Ave must ahvays see under an adefpiate and judicious system of protec- 
tion, that a proper tariff nut only improves, refines, and diversifies the 
labour of a country, but enlarges its commerce, increases the pros- 
perity of its agricultural population, renders the people better and 
tetter able to contribute to the support of the Government, and raises 
the nation to a position of independence and real equality among the 
powers of the globe. All this is indubitably proved by the example 
of Russia, for there protection has been steady and adequate, and the 
consequences are what we have described." — N. York Tribune. 

The reader may advantageously compare the following sketch, 
from the same source, of the present position of Russia, so recent- 
ly a scene of barbarism, with that already laid before him, of her 
neighbour Turkey, whose policy commands to so great an extent 
the admiration of those economists who advocate the system which 
looks to converting the whole world outside of England into one 
vast farm, and all its people, men, women, and children, into field 
labourers, dependent on one great workshop in which to make all 
their exchanges : — 

"Russia, we are told, is triumphant in the Great Exhibition. Her 
natural products excite interest and admiration for their variety and 
excellence ; her works of art provoke astonishment for their richness 
and beauty. Her jewellers and gold-workers carry off the palm from 
even those of Paris. Her satins and brocades compete with the rich- 
est contributions of Lyons. She exhibits tables of malachite and 
caskets of ebony, whose curious richness indicates at once the lavish 
expenditure of a barbaric court, and the refinement and taste of civil- 
ization. Xor do we deem it of much account that her part of the 
exhibition is not exclusively the work of native artisans. Her satins 
are none the less genuine product of the country because the loveliest 
were woven b} _ emigrants from the Croix fionsse or the Guilloti&re, se- 
duced by high wages from their sunnier home in order to build up the 
industry of the Great Empire, and train the grandsons of Mongol 
savages in the exquisite mysteries of French taste and dexterity. It 
matters not that the exhibition offers infinitely more than a fair illus- 
tration of the average capacity of Russian labour. It is none the less 
true that a people who half a century ago were without manufactures 
of any but the rudest kind, are now able by some means to furnish 
forth an unsurpassed display, though all the world is there to compete 
with them. 

" "We are no lover of Russian power, and have no wish to exaggerate 
the degree of perfection to which Russian industry has attained. "We 
do not doubt that any cotton factory in the environs of Moscow might 
be found imperfect when contrasted with one of Manchester or Lowell. 
We are confident that the artisans of a New-England village very far 
surpass those of a Russian one in most qualities of intelligence and 


manhood. Indeed, it is absurd to make the comparison ; it is absurd 
to do what travellers insist on doing — that is, to judge every nation 
by the highest standard, and pronounce each a failure -which does 
not exhibit the intellect of France, the solidity and power of England, 
or the enterprise, liberty, and order of the United States. All that 
should be asked is, whether a people has surpassed its own previous 
condition and is in the way of improvement and progress. And that, 
in respect of industry, at least, Russia is in that way, her show at the 
Exhibition may safely be taken as a brilliant and conclusive proof." 

Russia is powerful, and is becoming more so daily. Why is it 
so ? It is because her people are daily more and more learning 
the advantages of diversification of labour and combination of 
exertion, and more and more improving in their physical and intel- 
lectual condition — the necessary preliminaries to an improvement 
of their political condition. Turkey is weak; and why is it so? 
Because among her people the habit of association is daily passing 
away as the few remaining manufactures disappear, and as the 
travelling pedler supersedes the resident shopkeeper. 

It is said, however, that Russian policy is unfavorable to com- 
merce ) but is not its real tendency that of producing a great inter- 
nal commerce upon which alone a great foreign one can be built ? 
That it does produce the effect of enabling her people to combine 
their exertions for their common benefit is most certain; and 
equally so that it tends to give her that direct intercourse with 
the world which is essential to the existence of freedom. The 
slave trades with the world through his master, who fixes the price 
of the labour he has to sell and the food and clothing he has to 
buy, and this is exactly the system that Great Britain desires to es- 
tablish for the farmers of the world — she being the only buyer of 
raw products, and the only seller of manufactured ones. 

So long as Russia exports only food and hemp, she can trade 
with Brazil for sugar, and with Carolina for cotton, only through 
the medium of British ships, British ports, British merchants, and 
British looms, for she can need no raw cotton ; but with the ex- 
tension of manufactures she needs cotton, which she can draw 
directly from the planter, paying him in iron, by aid of which he 
may have machinery. In illustration of this, we have the fact 
that so recently as in 1846, out of a total consumption of cotton 


amounting to 310,656 cwts., no less than 122,082 cwts. bad passed 
through British spindles; whereas in 1850, out of a total consump- 
tion more than one-half greater, and amounting to 487,612 cwts., 
only 64,505 cwts. had passed through the hands of the spinners 
of Manchester. 

The export of raw cotton to Russia has since largely increased, 
but the precise extent of increase cannot be ascertained, although 
some estimate may be formed from the growth of the consumption 
of one of the principal dyeing materials, indigo; the export of 
which from England to Russia is thus given in the London 
Economist : — 

1849. 1850. 1851. 1852. 

Chests, 3225 4105 4953 5175 

"We have here an increase in three years of almost sixty per 
cent., proving a steady increase in the power to obtain clothing 
and to maintain commerce internal and external, directly the re- 
verse of what has been observed in Turkey, Ireland, India, and 
other countries in which the British system prevails; and the reason 
of this is that that system looks to destroying the power of associa- 
tion. It would have all the people of India engage themselves in 
raising cotton, and all those of Brazil and Cuba in raising sugar, 
while those of Germany and Russia should raise food and wool ; 
and we know well that when all are farmers, or all planters, the 
power of association scarcely exists; the consequence of which 
is seen in the exceeding weakness of all the communities of the 
world in vrhich the plough and the loom, the hammer and the harrow, 
are prevented from coming together. It is an unnatural one. 
Alen everywhere seek to combine their exertions with those of 
their fellow-men ; an object sought to be attained by the introduc- 
tion of that diversification of employment advocated throughout 
his work by the author of The Wealth of Nations. How naturally 
the habit of association arises, and how beneficial are its effects, 
may be seen from a few extracts now offered to the reader, from 
an interesting article in a recent English journal. In Russia, 

says its author — 



" There does not prevail that marked distinction between the modes 
of life of the dwellers in town and country which is found in other 
countries ; and the general freedom of trade, which in other nations is 
still an object of exertion, has existed in Russia since a long by-gone 
period. A strong manufacturing and industrial tendency prevails in 
a large portion of Russia, which, based upon the communal system, 
has led to the formation of what we may term 'national association 
factories.' " 

In corroboration of this view of the general freedom of internal 

trade, we are told that, widely different from the system of western 


" There exists no such thing as a trade guild, or company, nor any 
restraint of a similar nature. Any member of a commune can at 
pleasure abandon the occupation he may be engaged in, and take up 
another; all that he has to do in effecting the change is to quit the 
commune in which his old trade is carried on, and repair to another, 
where his new one is followed." 

The tendency of manufacturing industry is 

" For the most part entirely communal ; the inhabitants of one 
village, for example, are all shoemakers, in another smiths, in a third 
tanners only, and so on. A natural division of labor thus prevails 
exactly as in a factory. The members of the commune mutually as- 
sist one another with capital or labor ; purchases are usually made in 
common, and sales also invariably, but they always send their manu- 
factures in a general mass to the towns and market-places, where they 
have a common warehouse for their disposal." 

In common with all countries that are as yet unable fully to 

carry out the idea of Adam Smith, of compressing a large quantity 

of food and wool into a piece of cloth, and thus fitting it for cheap 

transportation to distant markets, and which are, therefore, largely 

dependent on those distant markets for the sale of raw produce, 

the cultivation of the soil in Russia is not — 

" In general, very remunerative, and also can only be engaged in 
for a few months in the year, which is, perhaps, the reason why the 
peasant in Russia evinces so great an inclination for manufactures and 
other branches of industry, the character of which generally depends 
on the nature of raw products found in the districts where they are 

Without diversification of employment much labour would be 

wasted, and the people would find themselves unable to purchase 

clothing or machinery of cultivation. Throughout the empire the 

labourer appears to follow in the direction indicated by nature, 


working up the materials on the land on which they are produced, 
and thus economizing transportation. Thus — 

" In the government of Yaroslaf the whole inhabitants of one place 
are potters. Upward of two thousand inhabitants in another place 
are rope-makers and harness-makers. The population of the district 
of Uglitich in 1835 sent three millions of yards of linen cloth to the 
markets of Rybeeck and Moscow. The peasants on one estate are all 
candle-makers, on a second they are all manufacturers of felt hats, 
and on a third they are solely occupied in smiths' work, chiefly the 
making of axes. In the district of Pashechoe there are about seventy 
tanneries, which give occupation to a large number of families ; they 
have no paid workmen, but perform all the operations among them- 
selves, preparing leather to the value of about twenty-five thousand 
roubles a year, and which is disposed of on their account in Rybeeck. 
In the districts where the forest-trees mostly consist of lindens, the in- 
habitants are principally engaged in the manufacture of matting, 
which, according to its greater or less degree of fineness, is employed 
either for sacking or sail cloth, or merely as packing mats. The lin- 
den-tree grows only on moist soils, rich in black humus, or vegetable 
mould ; but will not grow at all in sandy soils, which renders it com- 
paratively scarce in some parts of Russia, while in others it grows 
abundantly. The mats are prepared from the inner bark, and as the 
linden is ready for stripping at only fifteen years of age, and indeed 
is best at that age, these trees form a rich source of profit for those 
who dwell in the districts where they grow." 

We have here a system of combined exertion that tends greatly to 
account for the rapid progress of Russia in population, wealth, 
and power. 

The men who thus associate for local purposes acquire informa- 
tion, and with it the desire for more; and thus we find them pass- 
ing freely, as interest may direct them, from one part of the em- 
pire to another — a state of things very different from that pro- 
duced in England by the law of settlement, under which men 
have everywhere been forbidden to change their locality, and 
everywhere been liable to be seized and sent back to their original 
parishes, lest they might at some time or other become chargeable 
upon the new one in which they had desired to find employment, 
for which they had sought in vain at home. " The Russian" says 
our author — 

" Has a great disposition for wandering about beyond his native 
place, but not for travelling abroad. The love of home seems to be 
merged, to a great extent, in love of country. A Russian feels him- 
self at home everywhere within Russia ; and, in a political sense, this 


rambling disposition of the people, and the close intercourse between 
the inhabitants of the various provinces to which it leads, contributes 
to knit a closer bond of union between the people, and to arouse and 
maintain a national policy and a patriotic love of country. Although 
he may quit his native place, the Russian never wholly severs the con- 
nection with it ; and, as we have before mentioned, being fitted by 
natural talent to turn his hand to any species of work, he in general 
never limits himself in his wanderings to any particular occupation, 
but tries at several ; but chooses whatever may seem to him the most 
advantageous. "When they pursue any definite extensive trade, such 
as that of a carpenter, mason, or the like, in large towns, they asso- 
ciate together, and form a sort of trades' association, and the cleverest 
assume the position of a sort of contractor for the labour required. 
Thus, if a nobleman should want to build a house, or even a palace, 
in St. Petersburgh, he applies to such a contractor, {prodratshnik.) lays 
before him the elevation and plans, and makes a contract with him to 
do the work required for a specified sum. The contractor then makes 
an agreement with his comrades respecting the assistance they are to 
give, and the share they are to receive of the profit ; after which he 
usually sets off to his native place, either alone or with some of his 
comrades, to obtain the requisite capital to carry on the work with. 
The inhabitants, who also have their share of the gains, readily make 
up the necessary sum, and every thing is done in trust and confidence; 
it is, indeed, very rare to hear of frauds in these matters. The car- 
penters (plotniki) form a peculiar class of the workmen we have de- 
scribed. As most of the houses in Russia, and especially in the coun- 
try parts, are built of wood, the number and importance of the car- 
penters, as a class, are very great in comparison with other countries. 
Almost every peasant, whatever other trade he may follow, is also 
something of a carpenter, and knows how to shape and put together 
the timbers for a dwelling. The plot 'niki in the villages are never any 
thing more than these general carpenters, and never acquire any 
regular knowledge of their business. The real Russian plotniki sel- 
dom carries any other tools with him than an axe and a chisel, and 
with these he wanders through all parts of the empire, seeking, and 
everywhere finding, work." 

The picture here presented is certainly widely different from 
that presented by Great Britain and Ireland. A Russian appears 
to be at home everywhere in Russia. He wanders where he will, 
everywhere seeking and finding work; whereas an Irishman ap- 
pears hardly to be at home anywhere within the limits of the 
United Kingdom. In England, and still more in Scotland, he is 
not acknowledged as a fellow-citizen. He is only an Irishman — 
one of those half-savage Celts intended by nature to supply the 
demand of England for cheap labour; that is, for that labour 
which is to be rewarded by the scantiest supplies of food and 


clothing. The difference in the moral effect of the two systems is 
thus very great. The one tends to bring about that combination 
of exertion which everywhere produces a kindly habit of feeling, 
whereas the other tends everywhere to the production of dis- 
satisfaction and gloom J and it is so because that under it there is 
necessarily a constant increase of the feeling that every man is to 
live by the taxation of his neighbour, buying cheaply what that 
neighbour has to sell, and selling dearly what that neighbour has to 
buy. The existence of this state of things is obvious to all fa- 
miliar with the current literature of England, which abounds in 
exhibitions of the tendency of the system to render man a tyrant 
to his wife, his daughter, his horse, and even his dog. A recent 
English traveller in Russia presents a different state of feeling as 
there existing. "The Russian coachman/' he says — 

" Seldom uses his whip, and generally only knocks with it upon the 
footboard of the sledge, by way of a gentle admonition to his steed, 
with whom, meanwhile, he keeps up a running colloquy, seldom giving 
him harder words than ' My brother — my friend — my little pigeon — my 
sweetheart.' ' Come, my pretty pigeon, make use of your legs/ he will 
say. ' What, now ! art blind ? Come, be brisk ! Take care of that 
stone, there. Don't see it? — There, that's right! Bravo! hop, hop, 
hop! Steady boy, steady! What art turning thy head for? Look 
out boldly before thee ! — Hurra ! Yukh ! Yukh ! 

"I could not," he continues, "help contrasting this with the offen- 
sive language we constantly hear in England from carters and boys 
employed in driving horses. You are continually shocked by the 
oaths used. They seem to think the horses will not go unless they 
swear at them; and boys consider it manly to imitate this example, 
and learn to swear too, and break God's commandments by taking 
his holy name in vain. And this while making use of a fine, noble 
animal he has given for our service and not for abuse. There is 
much unnecessary cruelty in the treatment of these dumb creatures, 
for they are often beaten when doing their best, or from not under- 
standing what their masters want them to do." 

Of the truth of this, as regards England, the journals of that 
country often furnish most revolting evidence; but the mere fact 
that there exists there a society for preventing cruelty to animals ; 
would seem to show that its services had been much needed. 

The manner in which the system of diversified labour is gradu- 
ally extending personal freedom among the people of Russia, and 
preparing them eventually for the enjoyment of the highest de> 


gree of political freedom, is shown in the following passage. 
" The landholders/' says the author before referred to — 

" Having serfs, gave them permission to engage in manufactures, 

and to seek for work for themselves where they liked, on the mere condi- 
tion of paj'ing their lord a personal tax, (obrok.) Each person is rated 
according to his personal capabilities, talents, and capacities, at a cer- 
tain capital ; and according to what he estimates himself capable of 
gaining, he is taxed at a fixed sum as interest of that capital. Actors 
and singers are generally serfs, and they are obliged to pay obrok, for 
the exercise of their art, as much as the lowest handicraftsman. In 
recent times the manufacturing system of Western Europe has been 
introduced into Russia, and the natives have been encouraged to es- 
tablish all sorts of manufactures on these models ; and it remains to 
be seen whether the new system will have the anticipated effect of 
contributing to the formation of a middle class, which hitherto has 
been the chief want in Russia as a political state." 

That such must be the effect cannot be doubted. The middle 
class has everywhere grown with the growth of towns and other 
places of local exchange, and men have become free precisely as 
they have been able to unite together for the increase of the pro- 
ductiveness of their labour. In every part of the movement which 
thus tends to the emancipation of the serf, the government is seen 
to be actively co-operating,and it is scarcely possible to read an ac- 
count of what is there being done without a feeling of great re- 
spect for the emperor, ll so often/' says a recent writer, "de- 
nounced as a deadly foe to freedom — the true father of his coun- 
try, earnestly striving to develop and mature the rights of his 

For male serfs, says the same author, at all times until recently, 
military service was the only avenue to freedom. It required, 
however, twenty years' service, and by the close of that time the 
soldier became so accustomed to that mode of life that he rarely 
left it. A few years since, however, the term was shortened to 
eight years, and thousands of men are now annually restored to 
civil life, free men, who but a few years previously had been slaves, 
liable to be bought and sold with the land. 

Formerly the lord had the same unlimited power of disposing 

* Pictures from St. Petersburg, by E. Jerrmann, 22. 


of his serfs that is now possessed by the people of our Southern 
States. The serf was a mere chattel, an article of traffic and 
merchandise; and husbands and wives, parents and children, were 
constantly liable to be separated from each other. By an ukase 
of 1827, however, they were declared an integral and inseparable 
portion of the soil. " The immediate consequence of this decree," 
says Mr. Jerrmann,* 

" Was the cessation, at least in its most repulsive form, of the de- 
grading traffic in human flesh, by sale, barter, or gift. Thencefor- 
ward no serf could be transferred to another owner, except by the sale 
of the land to which he belonged. To secure to itself the refusal of 
the land and the human beings appertaining to it, and at the same 
time to avert from the landholder the ruin consequent on dealings 
with usurers, the government established an imperial loan-bank, which 
made advances on mortgage of lands to the extent of two-thirds of 
their value. The borrowers had to pay back each year three per cent, 
of the loan, besides three per cent, interest. If they failed to do this, 
the Crown returned them the instalments already paid, gave them the 
remaining third of the value of the property, and took possession of 
the land and its population. This was the first stage of freedom for 
the serfs. They became Crown peasants, held their dwellings and 
bit of land as an hereditary fief from the Crown, and paid annually 
for the same a sum total of five rubles, (about four shillings for each 
male person :) a rent for which, assuredly, in the whole of Germany, 
the very poorest farm is not to be had ; to say nothing of the con- 
sideration that in case of bad harvests, destruction by hail, disease, 
&c, the Crown is bound to supply the strict necessities of its peasant, 
and to find them in daily bread, in the indispensable stock of cattle 
and seed-corn, to repair their habitations, and so forth. 

"By this arrangement, and in a short time, a considerable portion 
of the lands of the Russian nobility became the property of the state, 
and with it a large number of serfs became Crown peasants. This 
was the first and most important step toward opening the road to free- 
dom to that majority of the Russian population which consists of 

"We have here the stage of preparation for that division of the 
land which has, in all countries of the world, attended the growth 
of wealth and population, and which is essential to further growth 
not only in wealth but in freedom. Consolidation of the land 
has everywhere been the accompaniment of slavery, and so must 
it always be. 

f- Pictures from St. Petersburg, 23. 


At the next step, we find the emperor bestowing upon the serf, 
as preparatory to entire freedom, certain civil rights. An ukase 

" Permitted them to enter into contracts. Thereby was accorded 
to them not only the right of possessing property, but the infinitely 
higher blessing of a legal recognition of their moral worth as men. 
Hitherto the serf was recognised by the state only as a sort of beast 
in human form. He could hold no property, give no legal evidence, 
take no oath. No matter how eloquent his speech, he was dumb be- 
fore the law. He might have treasures in his dwelling, the law knew 
him only as a pauper. His word and honor were valueless compared 
to those of the vilest freeman. In short, morally he could not be said 
to exist. The Emperor Nicholas gave to the serfs, that vast majority 
of his subjects, the first sensation of moral worth, the first throb of 
self-respect, the first perception of the rights and dignity and duty of 
man ! What professed friend of the people can boast to have done 
more, or yet so much, for so many millions of men ?" — Ibid, p. 24. 

" Having given the serfs power to hold property, the emperor 
now, says our author, " taught them to prize the said property 
above all in the interest of their freedom." The serf 

" Could not buy his own freedom, but he became free by the pur- 
chase of the patch of soil to which he was linked. To such pur- 
chase the right of contract cleared his road. The lazy Russian, who 
worked with an ill-will toward his master, doing as little as he could 
for the latter's profit, toiled day and night for his own advantage. 
Idleness was replaced by the diligent improvement of his farm, brutal 
drunkenness lry frugality and sobriety ; the earth, previously neglect- 
ed, requited the unwonted care with its richest treasures. By the 
magic of industry, wretched hovels were transformed into comfortable 
dwellings, wildernesses into blooming fields, desolate steppes and deep 
morasses into productive land ; whole communities, lately sunk in 
poverty, exhibited unmistakable signs of competency and well-doing. 
The serfs, now allowed to enter into contracts, lent the lord of the 
soil the money of which he often stood in need, on the same condi- 
tions as the Crown, receiving in security the land they occupied, their 
own bodies, and the bodies of their wives and children. The noble- 
man preferred the serfs' loan to the government's loan, because, wheu 
pay-day came for the annual interest and instalment, the Crown, if he 
was not prepared to pay, took possession of his estate, having funds 
wherewith to pay him the residue of its value. The parish of serfs, 
which had lent money to its owner, lacked these funds. Pay-day 
came, the debtor did not pay, but neither could the serfs produce the 
one-third of the value of the land which they must disburse to him 
in order to be free. Thus they lost their capital and did not gain 
their liberty. But Nicholas lived ! the father of his subjects. 

" Between the anxious debtor and the still more anxious creditor 
now interposed an imperial ukase, which in such cases opened to the 
parishes of serfs the imperial treasury. Mark this ; for it is worthy 


to be noted ; the Russian imperial treasury was opened to the serfs, 
that they might purchase their freedom ! 

"The Government might simply have released the creditors from 
their embarrassment by paying the debtor the one-third still due to 
him, and then land and tenants belonged to the state; — one parish 
the more of Crown peasants. Nicholas did not adopt that course. 
lie lent the serfs the money they needed to buy themselves from their 
master, and for this loan (a third only of the value) they mortgaged 
themselves and their lands to the CroAvn, paid annually three per cent, 
interest and three per cent, of the capital, and would thus in about 
thirty years be free, and proprietors of their land ! That they would 
be able to pay off this third was evident, since, to obtain its amount 
they had still the same resources which enabled them to save up the 
two-thirds already paid. Supposing, however, the very worst, — that 
through inevitable misfortunes, such as pestilence, disease of cattle, 
&c, they were prevented satisfying the rightful claims of the Crown, 
in that case the Crown paid them back the two-thirds value which 
they had previously disbursed to their former owner, and they became 
a parish of Crown peasants, whose lot, compared to their earlier one, 
was still enviable. But not once in a hundred times do such cases 
occur, while, by the above plan, whole parishes gradually acquire 
their freedom, not by a sudden and violent change, which could not 
fail to have some evil consequences, but in course of time, after a pro- 
bation of labour and frugality, and after thus attaining to the know- 
ledge that without these two great factors of true freedom, no real 
liberty can possibly be durable." — Ibid. 

The free peasants as yet constitute a small class, but they live 

" As free and happy men, upon their own land ; are active, frugal, 
and, without exception, well off. This they must he, for considerable 
means are necessary for the purchase of their freedom ;«and, once free, 
and in possession of a farm of their own, their energy and industry, 
manifested even in a state of slavery, are redoubled by the enjoyment 
of personal liberty, and their earnings naturally increase in a like 

" The second class, the crown peasants, are far better off (setting 
aside, of course, the consciousness of freedom) than the peasants of 
Germany. They must furnish their quota of ' recruits, but that is 
their only material burden. Besides that, they annually pay to the 
Crown a sum of five rubles (about four shillings) for each male per- 
son of the household. Supposing the family to include eight working 
men, which is no small number for a farm, the yearly tribute paid 
amounts to thirty-two shillings. And what a farm that must be 
which employs eight men all the year round ! In what country of 
civilized Europe has the peasant so light a burden to bear? How 
much heavier those which press upon the English farmer, the French, 
the German, and above all the Austrian, who often gives up three- 
fourths of his harvest in taxes. If the Crown peasant be so fortunate 
as to be settled in the neighbourhood of a large town, his prosperity 
soon exceeds that even of the Altenburg husbandmen, said to be the 



richest in all Germany- On the other hand, he can never purchase 
his freedom ; hitherto, at least, no law of the Crown has granted him 
this privilege." — Ibid, 156. 

That this, however, is the tendency of every movement, must 
be admitted by all who have studied the facts already given, and 
who read the following account of the commencement of local self- 
government : — 

" But what would our ardent anti-Russians say, if I took them into 
the interior of the empire, gave them an insight into the organization 
of parishes, and showed them, to their infinite astonishment, what 
they never yet dreamed of, that the whole of that organization is 
based upon republican principles, that there every thing has its origin 
in election by the people, and that that was already the case at a pe- 
riod when the great mass of German democrats did not so much as 
know the meaning of popular franchise. Certainly the Russian serfs 
do not know at the present day what it means ; but without knowing 
the name of the thing, without having ever heard a word of La- 
fayette's ill-omened ' trone monarcJiique, environni cV institutions repub- 
licaines,' they choose their own elders, their administrators, their dis- 
pensers of justice and finance, and never dream that they, slaves, enjoy 
and benefit by privileges by which some of the most civilized nations 
have proved themselves incapable of profiting. 

" Space does not here permit a more extensive sketch of what the 
Emperor Nicholas has done, and still is daily doing, for the true free- 
dom of his subjects ; but what I have here brought forward must 
surely suffice to place him, in the eyes of every unprejudiced person, 
in the light of a real lover of his people. That his care has created 
a paradise — that no highly criminal abuse of power, no shameful neg- 
lect prevails in the departments of justice and police — it is hoped no 
reflecting reader will infer from this exposition of facts. But the 
still-existing abuses alter nothing in my view of the emperor's cha- 
racter, of his assiduous efforts to raise his nation out of the deep 
slough in which it still is partly sunk, of his efficacious endeavours to 
elevate his people to a knowledge and use of their rights as men — 
alter nothing in my profound persuasion that Czar Nicholas I. is the 
true father of his country." — Ibid, 27. 

"We are told that the policy of Russia is adverse to the progress 
of civilization, while that of England is favourable to it, and that 
we should aid the latter in opposing the former. How is this to 
be proved? Shall we look to Ireland for the proof? If we do, 
we shall meet there nothing but famine, pestilence, and depopula- 
tion. Or to Scotland, where men, whose ancestors had occupied 
the same spot for centuries, are being hunted down that they 
may be transported to the shores of the St. Lawrence, there to 


perish, as they so recently have done, of cold and of hunger ? Or 
to India, whose whole class of small proprietors and manufacturers 
has disappeared under the blighting influence of her system, and 
whose commerce diminishes now from year to year? Or to Por- 
tugal, the weakest and most wretched of the communities of Eu- 
rope ? Or to China, poisoned with smuggled opium, that costs the 
nation annually little less than forty millions of dollars, without 
which the Indian government could not be maintained? Look 
where we may, we see a growing tendency toward slavery wherever 
the British system is permitted to obtain ; whereas freedom grows 
in the ratio in which that system is repudiated. 

That such must necessarily be the case will be seen by every 
reader who will for a moment reflect on the difference between the 
effect of the Russian system on the condition of Russian women, 
and that of the British system on the condition of those of 
India. In the former there is everywhere arising a demand for 
women to be employed in the lighter labour of conversion, and 
thus do they tend from day to day to become more self-supporting, 
and less dependent on the will of husbands, brothers, or sons. In 
the other the demand for their labour has passed away, and 
their condition declines, and so it must continue to do while Man- 
chester shall be determined upon closing the domestic demand for 
cotton and driving the whole population to the production of sugar, 
rice, and cotton, for export to England. 

The system of Russia is attractive of population, and French, 
German, and American mechanics of every description find de- 
mand for their services. That of England is repulsive, as is seen 
by the forced export of men from England, Scotland, Ireland, and 
India, now followed by whole cargoes of women* sent out by 
aid of public contributions, presenting a spectacle almost as hu- 
miliating to the pride of the sex as can be found in the slave ba- 
zaar of Constantinople. 

* The cargo of a ship that has recently sailed is stated to have consisted of 
more than a thousand females. 




Compared with Ireland, India, or Turkey, Denmark is a very- 
poor country. She has, says one of the most enlightened of mo- 
dern British travellers — 

" Xo metals or minerals, no fire power, no water power, no products 
or capabilities for becoming a manufacturing country supplying foreign 
consumers. She has no harbours on the North Sea. Her navigation 
is naturally confined to the Baltic. Her commerce is naturally con- 
fined to the home consumption of the necessaries and luxuries of civil- 
ized life, which the export of her corn and other agricultural products 
enables her to import and consume. She stands alone in her corner 
of the world, exchanging her loaf of bread, which she can spare, for 
articles she cannot provide for herself, but still providing for herself 
every thing she can by her own industry."* 

That industry is protected by heavy import duties, and those 
duties are avowedly imposed with the view of enabling the farmer 
everywhere to have the artisan at his side ; thus bringing together 
the producers and the consumers of the earth. " The greater part 
of their clothing materials/' says Mr. Laing — 

" Linen, mixed linen and cotton, and woollen cloth, is home-made ; 
and the materials to be worked up, the cotton yarns, dye stuffs, and 
utensils, are what they require from the shops. The flax and wool 
are grown and manufactured on the peasant's farm ; the spinning 
and weaving done in the house ; the bleaching, dyeing, fulling done 
at home or in the village." * * * " Bunches of ribbons, silver 
clasps, gold ear-rings, and other ornaments of some value, are profusely 
used in many of the female dresses, although the main material is home- 
made woollen and linen. Some of these female peasant costumes are 
very becoming when exhibited in silk, fine cloth, and lace, as they are 
worn by handsome country girls, "daughters of rich peasant proprie- 
tors in the islands, who sometimes visit Copenhagen. They have often 
the air and appearance of ladies, and in fact are so in education, in 
their easy or even wealthy circumstances, and an inherited superiority 
over others of the same class." * * * " In a large country church 
at Gettorf, my own coat and the minister's were, as far as I could ob- 
serve, the only two in the congregation not of home-made cloth ; and 

* Laing's Denmark and the Duchies, London, 1852, 299. 


in Copenhagen the working: and every*day clothes of respectable trades- 
men and people of the middle class, and of all the artisans and the 
lower labouring classes, are, if not home-made and sent to them by 
their friends, at least country made*; that is, not factory made, but 
spun, woven, and sold in the web, by peasants who have more than 
they want for their family use, to small shopkeepers. This is particu- 
larly the case with linen. Flax is a crop on every farm ; and the 
skutching, hackling, spinning, weaving, and bleaching are carried on 
in every country family."— Pp. 381, 382, 383. 

The manufacture of this clothing finds employment for almost 
the whole female population of the country, and for a large pro- 
portion of the male population during the winter months. Under 
a different system, the money price of this clothing would be less 
than it now is — as low, perhaps, as it has been in Ireland — but 
what would be its labour price ? Cloth is cheap in that country, 
but man is so much cheaper that he not only goes in rags, but pe- 
rishes of starvation, because compelled to exhaust his land and 
waste his labour. " "Where/' asks very justly Mr. Laing — 

" "Would be the gain to the Danish nation, if the small proportion 
of its numbers who do not live by husbandry got their shirts and 
jackets and all other clothing one-half cheaper, and the great major- 
ity, who now find winter employment in manufacturing their own 
clothing materials, for the time and labour which are of no value to 
them at that season, and can be turned to no account, were thrown 
idle by the competition of the superior and cheaper products of ma- 
chinery and the factory?" — P. 385. 

None ! The only benefit derived by man from improvement in 
the machinery of conversion is, that he is thereby enabled to give 
more time, labour, and thought to the improvement of the earth, 
the great machine of production ; and in that there can be no 
improvement under a system that looks to the exportation of raw 
products, the sending away of the soil, and the return of no manure 
to the land. 

The whole Danish system tends to the local employment of both 
labour and capital, and therefore to the growth of wealth and the 
division of the land, and the improvement of the modes of cultiva- 
tion. " With a large and increasing proportion — 

" Of the small farms belonging to peasant proprietors, working 
themselves with hired labourers, and of a size to keep from five to 



thirty or forty cows summer and winter, there are many large farms 
of a size to keep from two hundred to three hundred, and even four 
hundred cows, summer and winter, and let to verpachters, or large 
tenant farmers, paying money rents. This class of verpachters are 
farmers of great capital and skill, very intelligent and enterprising, 
well acquainted with all modern improvements in husbandry, using 
guano, tile-draining, pipe-draining, and likely to be very formidable 
rivals in the English markets to the old-fashioned, use-and-want Eng- 
lish farmers, and even to most of our improving large farmers in Scot- 
land." — Laing, 52. 

The system of this country has attracted instead of repelling 
population, and with its growth there has been a constant and 
rapid advance toward freedom. The class of verpachters above 

""Were originally strangers from Mecklenburg, Brunswick, and 
Hanover, bred to the complicated arrangements and business of a great 
dairy farm, and they are the best educated, most skilful, and most 
successful farmers in the North of Europe. Many of them have pur- 
chased large estates. The extensive farms they occupy, generally on 
leases of nine years, are the domains and estates of the nobles, which, 
before 1784, were cultivated by the serfs, who were, before that period, 
adscripti glebce, and who were bound to work every day, without wages, 
on the main farm of the feudal lord, and had cottages and land, on the 
outskirts of the estate, to work upon for their own living when they 
were not wanted on the farm of the baron. Their feudal lord could 
imprison them, flog them, reclaim them if they had deserted from his 
land, and had complete feudal jurisdiction over them in his baronial 
court."— P. 53. 

It is, however, not only in laud, but in various other modes, 
that the little owner of capital is enabled to employ it with advan- 
tage. " The first thing a Dane does with his savings," says Mr. 
Brown,* British consul at Copenhagen — 

" Is to purchase a clock ; then a horse and cow, which he hires out, 
and which pay good interest. Then his ambition is to become a petty 
proprietor ; and this class of persons is better off than any in Denmark. 
Indeed, I know no people in any country who have more easily within 
their reach all that is really necessary for life than this class, which is 
very large in comparison with that of labourers." 

To the power advantageously to employ the small accumulations 
of the labourer, it is due that the proportion of small proprietors 

* Quoted by Kay, Social and Political Condition of England and the Continent, 
vol. i. 91. 


has become so wonderfully large. " The largest proportion of the 
country, and of the best land of it," says Mr. Laing,* is in their 
hands — 

""With farms of a size to keep tea or fifteen cows, and which they 
cultivate by hired labour, along with the labour of the family. These 
small proprietors, called huffner, probably from hoff, a farm-steading 
and court-yard, correspond to the yeomen, small freeholders, and states- 
men of the North of England, and many of them are wealthy. Of this 
class of estates, it is reckoned there are about 125,150 in the two 
duchies : some of the huffners appear to be copyholders, not free- 
holders ; that is, they hold their land by hereditary right, and may 
sell or dispose of it; but their land is subject to certain fixed payments 
of money, labour, cartages,. ploughing yearly to the lord of the manor 
of which they hold it, or to fixed fines for non-payment. A class of 
smaller land-holders are called Innsters, and are properly cottars with a 
house, a yard, and land for a cow or two, and pay a rent in money and 
in labour, and receive wages, at a reduced rate, for their work all the 
year round. They are equivalent to our class of married farm-ser- 
vants, but with the difference that they cannot be turned off at the 
will or convenience of the verpachter, or large farmer, but hold of the 
proprietor ; and all the conditions under which they hold — sometimes 
for life, sometimes for a term of years — are as fixed and supported by 
law as those between the proprietor and the verpachter. Of this class 
there are about 67,710, and of house-cottars without land, 17,480, and 
36,283 day-labourers in husbandry. The land is well divided among 
a total population of only 662,500 souls." — P. 43. 

Even the poorest of these labouring householders has a garden, 
some land, and a cow;j" and everywhere the eye and hand of the 
liitle proprietor may be seen busily employed, while the larger 
farmers, says our author — 

" Attend our English cattle-shows and agricultural meetings, are 
educated men, acquainted with every agricultural improvement, have 
agricultural meetings and cattle-shows of their own, and publish the 
transactions and essays of the members. They use guano, and all the 
animal or chemical manures, have introduced tile-draining, machinery 
for making pipes and tiles, and are no strangers to irrigation on their 
old grass meadows." — P. 127. 

As a natural consequence, the people are well clothed. " The 
proportion," says Mr. Laing — 

" Of well-dressed people in the streets is quite as great as in our 
large towns ; few are so shabby in clothes as the unemployed or half- 

* Denmark and the Duchies, 42. f Ibid. 136. 

employed -workmen and labourers in Edinburgh ; and a proletarian 
class, half-naked and in rags, is not to be seen. The supply of cloth- 
ing material for the middle and lower classes seems as great, -whether 
we look at the people themselves or at the second or third rate class of 
shops with goods for their use." — P. 379. 

In regard to house accommodation, he says — 

" The country people of Denmark and the duchies are well lodged. 
The material is brick. The roofing is of thatch in the country, and of 
tiles in the towns. Slate is unknown. The dwelling apartments are 
always floored with wood. I have described in a former note the great 
hall in which all the cattle and crops and wagons are housed, and into 
which the dwelling apartments open. The accommodations outside of 
the meanest cottage, the yard, garden, and offices, approach more to 
the dwellings of the English than of the Scotch people of the same 
class."— P. 420. 

Every parish has its established schoolmaster, as well as 

"Its established minister; but it appears to me that the class of 
parochial schoolmasters here stands in a much higher position than in 
Scotland. They are better paid, their houses, glebes, and stipends are 
better, relatively to the ordinary houses and incomes of the middle 
class in country places, and they are men of much higher education 
than their Scotch brethren." * * * " It is quite free to any one 
who pleases to open a school ; and to parents to send their children to 
school or not, as they please. If the young people are sufficiently in- 
structed to receive confirmation from the clergyman, or to stand an 
examination for admission as students at the university, where or how 
they acquired their instruction is not asked. Government has 
provided schools, and highly qualified and well-paid teachers, but in- 
vests them with no monopoly of teaching, no powers as a corporate 
body, and keeps them distinct from and unconnected with the profes- 
sional body in the university." — Pp. 170, 336. 

" The most striking feature in the character of these small town 
populations/' says our author — 

"And that which the traveller least expects to find in countries so 
secluded, so removed from intercourse with other countries, by situa- 
tion and want of exchangeable products, as Sleswick, Jutland, and the 
Danish islands, is the great diffusion of education, literature, and lite- 
rary tastes. In towns, for instance, of 6000 inhabitants, in England, 
we seldom find such establishments as the 6000 inhabitants of Aal- 
borg, the most northerly town in Jutland, possess. They enjoy, on 
the banks of the Lymfiord, a classical school for the branches of learn- 
ing required from students entering the university ; an educational 
institution, and six burger schools for the ordinary branches of educa- 
tion, and in which the Lancastrian method of mutual instruction is in 
use ; a library of 12,000 volumes, belonging to the province of Aal- 


borg, is open to the public : a circulating library of 2000 volumes ; 
several private collections and museums, to which access is readily 
given ; a dramatic association, acting every other Sunday ; and two 
club-houses for balls and concerts. A printing office and a newspaper, 
published weekly or oftener, are, in such towns, establishments of 
course. "Wyborg, the most ancient town in Jutland, the capital in the 
time of the pagan kings, and once a great city, with twelve parish 
churches and six monasteries, but now containing no remains of its 
former grandeur, and only about 3000 inhabitants, has its newspaper 
three times a week, its classical school, its burger school, its public 
library, circulating library, and its dramatic association acting six or 
eight plays in the course of the winter. These, being county towns, 
the seats of district courts and business, have, no doubt, more of such 
establishments than the populations of the towns themselves could 
support ; but this indicates a wide diffusion of education and intellec- 
tual tastes in the surrounding country. Eanders, on the Guden River, 
the only river of any length of course which runs into the Baltic or 
Cattegat from the peninsular land, and the only one in which salmon 
are caught, is not a provincial capital, and is only about twenty-five 
English miles from the capital Wyborg ; but it has, for its 6000 in- 
habitants, a classical school, several burger schools, one of which has 
above 300 children taught by the mutual-instruction method, a book 
society, a musical society, a circulating library, a printing press, a 
newspaper published three times a week, a club-house, and a dramatic 
society. Aarhuus, with about the same population as Eanders, and 
about the same distance from it as Randers from Wyborg, has a high 
school, two burger schools, and a ragged or poor school, a provincial 
library of 3000 or 4000 volumes, a school library of about the same 
extent, a library belonging to a club, a collection of minerals and 
shells belonging to the high schools, a printing press, (from which a 
newspaper and a literary periodical are issued,) book and music shops, 
a club-house, concert and ball-room, and a dramatic society. Holste- 
brD, a little inland town of about 800 inhabitants, about thirty-five 
English miles west from Wyborg, has its burger school on the mutual- 
instruction system, its reading society, and its agricultural society. In 
every little town in this country, the traveller finds educational insti- 
tutions and indications of intellectual tastes, such as the taste for read- 
ing, music, theatrical representations, which, he cannot but admit, 
surpass what he finds at home in England, in similar towns and 
among the same classes." — P. 316. 

We have here abundant evidence of the beneficial effect of 
local action, as compared with centralization. Instead of having 
great establishments in Copenhagen, and no local schools, or news- 
papers, there is everywhere provision for education, and evidence 
that the people avail themselves of it. Their tastes are cultivated, 
and becoming more so from day to day ; and thus do they present 
a striking contrast with the picture furnished by the opposite shore 


of the German Ocean, and for the reason that there the system is 
based on the idea of cheapening labour at home and underworking 
the labourer abroad. The windows of the poorest houses, says Mr. 
Laing — 

" Rarely want a bit of ornamental drapery, and are always decked 
with flowers and plants in flower-pots. The people have a passion for 
flowers. The peasant girl and village beau are adorned with bouquets 
of the finest of ordinary flowers ; and in the town you see people buy- 
ing flowers who with us, in the same station, would think it extrava- 
gance. The soil and climate favour this taste. -In no part of Europe 
are the ordinary garden-flowers produced in such abundance and luxu- 
riance as in Holstein and Sleswick." — P. 50. 

The people have everywhere " leisure to be happy, amused, and 
educated,"* and, as a consequence, the sale of books is large. The 
number of circulating libraries is no less than six hundred,"]" and 
their demands give 

" More impulse to literary activity than appears in Edinburgh, 
where literature is rather passive than active, and what is produced 
worth publishing is generally sent to the London market. This is the 
reason why a greater number of publications appear in the course of 
the year in Copenhagen than in Edinburgh." * * * " The trans- 
mission of books and other small parcels by post, which we think a 
great improvement, as it unquestionably is, and peculiar to our Eng- 
lish post-office arrangement, is of old standing in Denmark, and is of 
great advantage for the diffusion of knowledge, and of great conveni- 
ence to the people." — Pp. 373, 374. 

The material and intellectual condition of this people is declared 
by Mr. Laing — and he is an experienced and most observant tra- 
veller — to be higher than that of any other in Europe ;J while 
Mr. Kay, also very high authority, places the people of England 
among the most ignorant and helpless of those of Europe. The 
Danes consume more food for the mind 

" Than the Scotch ; have more daily and weekly newspapers, and 
other periodical works, in their metropolis and in their country towns, 
and publish more translated and original works ; have more public 
libraries, larger libraries, and libraries more easily accessible to per- 
sons of all classes, not only in Copenhagen, but in all provincial and 
country towns ; have more small circulating libraries, book-clubs, mu- 
sical associations, theatres and theatrical associations, and original 
dramatic compositions ; more museums, galleries, collections of statues, 

* Denmark and the Duchies, 366. f Ibid. 394. J Dbid. 388. 


paintings, antiquities, and objects gratifying to the testes of a refined 
and intellectual people, and open equally to all classes, than the peo- 
ple of Scotland can produce in the length and breadth of the land." — 
P. 390. 

High moral condition is a necessary consequence of an elevated 
material and intellectual one ; and therefore it is that we find the 
Dane distinguished for kindness, urbanity, and regard for others,* 
and this is found in all portions of society. In visiting the Museum 
of Northern Antiquities, which is open to the public, free of charge, 
on certain days — 

" The visitors are not left to gape in ignorance at what they see. 
Professors of the highest attainments in antiquarian science — Profes- 
sor Thomsen, M. Worsaae, and others — men who, in fact, have created 
a science out of an undigested mass of relics, curiosities, and specimens 
of the arts in the early ages — go round with groups of the visitors, and 
explain equally to all, high and low, with the greatest zeal, intelligence, 
and affability, the uses of the articles exhibited, the state of the arts in 
the ages in which they were used, the gradual progress of mankind 
from shells, stones, and bones to bronze and iron, as the materials for 
tools, ornaments, and weapons, and the conclusions made, and the 
grounds and reasons for making them, in their antiquarian researches. 
They deliver, in fact, an extempore lecture, intelligible to the peasant 
and instructive to the philosopher." — P. 399. 

In place of the wide gulf that divides the two great portions of 

English society, we find here great equality of social intercourse, 


" It seems not to be condescension merely on one side, and grateful 
respect for being noticed at all on the other, but a feeling of independ- 
ence and mutual respect between individuals of the most different sta- 
tions and classes. This may be accounted for from wealth not being 
so all-important as in our social state ; its influence in society is less 
where the majority are merely occupied in living agreeably on what 
they have, without motive or desire to have more." — P. 423. 

How strikingly does the following contrast with the description 
of London, and its hundred thousand people without a place to lay 
their heads ! — 

" The streets are but poorly lighted, gas is not yet introduced, and 
the police is an invisible force ; yet one may walk at all hours through 
this town without seeing a disorderly person, a man in liquor unable 

* Denmark and the Duchies, 362. 


to take care of himself, or a female street-walker. Every one appears 
to have a home and bed of some kind, and the houseless are unknown 
as a class."— P. 394. 

Why this is so is, that, because of the growing improvement in 
the condition of the people, the land is daily increasing in value, 
and is becoming divided, and men are attracted from the city to 
the land and the smaller towns — directly the reverse of what is 
observed in England. " There is," says Mr. Laing — 

" No such influx, as in our large towns, of operatives in every trade, 
who, coming from the country to better their condition, are by far too 
numerous for the demand, must take work at lower and lower wages 
to keep themselves from starving, and who reduce their fellow-crafts- 
men and themselves to equal misery. Employment is more fixed and 
stationary for the employed and the employers. There is no foreign 
trade or home consumption to occasion great and sudden activity and 
expansion in manufactures, and equally great and sudden stagnation 
and collapse." — P. 394. 

" Drunkenness has almost," we are told, u disappeared from the 
Danish character," and it is 

" The education of the tastes for more refined amusements than the 
counter of the gin-palace or the back parlour of the whisky-shop afford, 
that has superseded the craving for the excitement of spirituous liquor. 
The tea-gardens, concert-rooms, ball-rooms, theatres, skittle-grounds, 
all frequented indiscriminately by the highest and the lowest classes, 
have been the schools of useful knowledge that have imparted to the 
lowest class something of the manners and habits of the highest, and 
have eradicated drunkenness and brutality, in ordinary intercourse, 
from the character of the labouring people." — P. 396. 

Denmark is, says this high authority, " a living evidence of the 
falsity of the theory that population increases more rapidly than 
subsistence where the land of the country is held by small working 
proprietors;"* and she is a living evidence, too, of the falsity of 
the theory that men commence with the cultivation of the most 
productive soils, and find themselves, as wealth and population in- 
crease, forced to resort to poorer ones, with diminished return to 
labour. Why she is enabled to afford such conclusive evidence of 
this is, that she pursues a policy tending to permit her people to 
have that real free trade which consists in having the power to 

* Denmark and the Duchies, 291. 


choose between the foreign and domestic markets — a power, the 
exercise of which is denied to India and Ireland, Portugal and 
Turkey. She desires to exercise control over her own movements, 
and not over those of others; and therefore it is that her people 
become from day to day more free, and her land from day to day 
more valuable. 

Turkey is the paradise of the system commonly known by the 
name of free trade — that system under which the artisan is not per- 
mitted to take his place by the side of the producer of silk and 
cotton — and the consequence is seen in the growing depopulation 
of the country, the increasing poverty and slavery of its people, the 
worthlessness of its land, and in the weakness of its government. 
Denmark, on the contrary, is the paradise of the system supposed 
to be opposed to free trade — that system under which the artisan 
and the farmer are permitted to combine their efforts — and the 
consequence is seen in the increase of population, in the growth of 
wealth and freedom, in the growing value of land, in the increas- 
ing tendency to equality, and in the strength of its government, as 
exhibited in its resistance of the whole power of Northern Germany 
during the late Schleswig-Holstein war, and as afterward ex- 
hibited toward those of its own subjects who had aided in bringing 
on the war. V It is to the honour/' says Mr. Laing* — 

" Of the Danish king and government, and it is a striking example 
of the different progress of civilization in the North and in the South of 
Europe, that during the three years this insurrection lasted, and now 
that it is quelled, not one individual has been tried and put to death, 
or in any way punished for a civil or political offence by sentence of 
a court-martial, or of any other than the ordinary courts of justice ;- 
not one life has been taken but in the field of battle, and by the chance 
of war. Banishment for life has been the highest punishment inflicted 
upon traitors who, as military officers deserting their colours, breaking 
their oaths of fidelity, and giving up important trusts to the enemy, 
would have been tried by court-martial and shot in any other country. 
Civil functionaries who had abused their official power, and turned it 
against the government, were simply dismissed." 

These facts contrast strikingly with those recently presented to 
view by Irish history. Ireland had no friends in her recent at- 

P Denmark and the Duchies, 269. 


tempt at change of government. Her leaders had not even at- 
tempted to call in the aid of other nations. They stood alone, and 
yet the English government deemed it necessary to place them in 
an island at a distance of many thousand miles, and to keep them 
there confined. Denmark, on the contrary, was* surrounded by 
enemies close at hand — enemies that needed no ships for the inva- 
sion of her territory — and yet she contented herself with simple 
banishment. The policy of the former looks abroad, and therefore 
is it weak at home. That of the latter looks homeward, and there- 
fore is it that at home she is strong; small as she is, compared 
with other powers, in her territory and in the number of her popu- 



Spain expelled the industrious portion of her population, and 
almost at the same time acquired colonies of vast extent, to which 
she looked for revenue. Centralization here was almost perfect — 
and here, as everywhere, it has been accompanied by poverty and 
weakness. With difficulty she has been enabled to defend her 
rights on her own soil, and she has found it quite impossible to 
maintain her power abroad, and for the reason that her system 
tended to the impoverishment of her people and the destruction 
of the value of labour and land. Her history tends throughout to 
show that nations which desire respect for their own rights, must 
learn to respect those of others. 

The policy of Spain has been unfavourable to commerce, internal 
and external. Exchanges at home were burdened with heavy taxes, 
and the raw materials of manufacture, even those produced at 
home, were so heavily taxed on their passage from the place of 
production to that of consumption, that manufactures could not 
prosper. The great middle class of artisans could therefore scarcely 


be found, and the scattered agriculturists were thus deprived of 
their aid in the effort to establish or maintain their freedom. 
Towns and cities decayed, and land became more and more consoli- 
dated in the hands of great noblemen on one side and the church 
on the other, and talent found no field for its exercise, except in 
the service of the church or the state. 

While thus destroying internal trade by taxation, efforts were 
made to build it up by aid of restrictions on external trade; but 
the very fact that the former was destroyed, made it necessary for 
thousands and tens of thousands of persons to endeavour to earn 
wages in the smuggling of foreign merchandise, and the country 
was filled with men ever ready to violate the law, because of the 
cheapness of labour. The laws restraining the import of foreign 
merchandise were easily violated, because its bulk was small and 
its value great ; whereas those interfering with the transit of raw 
materials were easily enforced, because the bulk was great and their 
value small; and therefore the whole system tended effectually to 
prevent the artisan from taking his place by the side of the grower 
of food and wool ; and hence the depopulation, poverty, and weak- 
ness of this once rich and powerful country. 

Fortunately for her, however, the day arrived when she was to 
lose her colonies, and find herself compelled to follow the advice of 
Adam Smith, and look to home for revenue; and almost from that 
date to the present, notwithstanding foreign invasions, civil wars, 
and revolutions, her course has been onward, and with each suc- 
ceeding year there has been a greater tendency toward diversifica- 
tion of employment, the growth of towns and other places of local 
exchange, the improvement of agriculture, the strengthening of 
the people in their relations with the government, and the strength- 
ening of the nation as regards the other nations of the earth. 

Among the earliest measures tending toward the emancipation 
of the people of Germany, Russia, and Denmark, was, as has been 
seen, the removal of restrictions upon the trade in land, the great 
machine of production. So, too, was it in Spain. According to a 
return made to the Cortes of Cadiz, out of sixty millions of acres 
then in cultivation, only twenty millions were held by the men 


who cultivated them, while thirty were in the hanJs of great nobles, 
and ten were held by the church. Under a decree of seculariza- 
tion, a large portion of the latter has been sold, and the result is 
seen in the fact that the number of owners cultivating their own 
properties has risen from 273,760 to 546,100; and the number of 
farms from 403,408 to 1,095,200.* 

A further step toward freedom and the establishment of equal 
rights, is found in the abolition of a great variety of small and vexa- 
tious taxes, substituting therefor a land-tax, payable alike by the 
small and the great proprietor; and in the abolition of internal 
duties on the exchange of the raw materials of manufacture. With 
each of these we find increasing tendency toward the establishment 
of that division of employment which gives value to labour and 
land. From 1841 to 1846, the number of spindles in Catalonia 
has grown from 62,000 to 121,000, and that of looms from 
30,000 to 45,000, while cotton factories had been put in operation 
in various other parts of the kingdom. -f Still later, numerous others 
have been started, and a traveller of the past year informs us that 
the province of Granada now bids fair to rival Catalonia in her 
manufactures. J In 1841, the total value of the products of the 
cotton manufacture was estimated at about four millions of dollars, 
but in 1846 it had risen to more than six and a half millions. The 
woollen manufacture had also rapidly increased, and this furnishes 
employment at numerous places throughout the kingdom, one of 
which, Alcoy, is specially referred to by M. Block,§ as situated 
among the mountains which separate the ancient kingdom of Va- 
lencia and Murcia, and as having no less than 24,000 spindles, 
and 12,000 men, in addition to a great number of women and 
children, engaged in this branch of manufacture. 

In regard to the progress of manufactures generally, the follow- 
ing statement, furnished by a recent American traveller to whom 
we are indebted for #n excellent work on Spain, furnishes much 

* L'Espagne en 1850, par Bt Maurice Block, 145. j Ibid. pp. 157-159. 

I Bayard Taylor, in the N, Y. Tribune. 
§ L'Espagne en 1850, 160. 


information, and cannot be read without interest by all those who 
derive pleasure from witnessing advance in civilization.* 

••Of late years there has been a considerable effort to extend and 
improve the production and manufacture of silk, and the result has 
been very favourable. The silkworm, formerly confined, in a great 
degree, to Valencia and Mureia, is now an article of material import- 
ance in the wealth of the two Castiles, Rioja. and Aragon. The silk 
fabrics of Talavera, Valencia, and Barcelona are many of them admi- 
rably wirought, and are sold at rates which appear very moderate. I 
had particular occasion to note the cheapness of the damasks which 
I in Madrid from the native looms. It is not easy to imagine 
any thing mure magnificent, of their kind. The woollen cloths, too, 
of home manufacture, are, some of them, very admirable, and the 
coarser kinds supply. I believe, a considerable part of the national 
demand. In cheapness I have never seen them surpassed. The finer 
qualities do not bear so favourable a comparison with the foreign 
article; but those who were familiar with the subject informed me 
that their recent improvement had been very decided. Many laudable 
efforts have heen made to render the supply of wool more abundant, 
and to improve its quality, and there has been a considerable importa- 
tion of foreign sheep, with a view to crossing on the native breeds. 
The sheep-rearing interest is so very large in Spain, that any material 
improvement in the quality of the wool must add greatly to the national 
wealth, as well as to the importance of the woollen manufacture and 
its ability to encounter foreign competition. 

" In the general movement toward an increased and more valuable 
production of the raw material for manufacture, the flax of Leon and 
Galicia and the hemp of Granada have not been forgotten. But the 
article in which the most decided and important progress has been 
made, is the great staple, iron. In 1S32, the iron-manufacture of 
Spain was at So low an ebb, that it was necessary to import from Eng- 
land the large lamp-posts of cast metal, which adorn the Plaza de 
Armas of the Palace. They bear the London mark, and tell their own 
story. A luxury for the in-doors' enjoyment or personal ostentation 
of the monarch, would of course have been imported from any quarter, 
without regard to appearances. But a monument of national depend- 
ence upon foreign industry would hardly have been erected upon such 
a spot, had there been a possibility of avoiding it by any domestic 
recourse. In t85G the state of things had so far changed, that there 
were in the kingdom twenty-five founderies, eight furnaces of the first 
class, with founderies attached, and twenty-live iron-factories, all 
prosperously and constantly occupied. The specimens of work from 
these establishments, which are to be seen in the capital and the chief 
cities of the provinces, are such as to render the independence and 
prospective success of the nation in this particular no longer matters 
of question. In the beginning of 1850, the Marquis of Melius, then 
Minister of Marine Affairs, upon the petition of the iron-manufac- 

* Spain, her Institutions, her Politics, and her Public Men. by S. T. "Wallis, 341. 



turers, directed inquiries to be made, by a competent board, into the 
quality of the native iron, and the extent to which the home manufac- 
ture might be relied on for the purposes of naval construction. The 
result was so satisfactory, that in March of the same year a royal 
order was issued from the department, directing all future contracts 
to be made with the domestic establishments. This, indeed, has been 
the case since 1845, at the arsenal of Ferrol, which has been supplied 
altogether from the iron-works of Biscay. The government, however, 
had determined for the future to be chiefly its own purveyor, and 
national founderies at Ferrol and Trubia, constructed without regard 
to expense, were about to go into operation when the royal order was 

A necessary consequence of all these steps toward freedom and 
association has been great agricultural improvement. " The im- 
poverished industry and neglected agriculture of the land/' says 
Mr. Wallis— 

" Have received an accession of vigorous labour, no longer tempted 
into sloth by the seductions of a privileged and sensual life. In the cities 
and larger towns the convent buildings have been displaced, to make 
room for private dwellings of more or less convenience and elegance, 
or have been appropriated as public offices or repositories of works of 
art. The extensive grounds which were monopolized by some of the 
orders, in the crowded midst of populous quarters, have been converted 
into walks or squares, dedicated to the public health and recreation. 
In a word, what was intended in the beginning as the object of mo- 
nastic endowments, has been to some extent realized. What was 
meant for the good of all, though intrusted to a few, has been taken 
from the few who used it as their own, and distributed, rudely it may 
be, but yet effectually, among the many who were entitled to and 
needed it. ;; — P. 276. 

At the close of the last century, the value of agricultural pro- 
ducts was officially returned at 5143 millions of reals, or about 
260 millions of dollars. In 1829, a similar return made it some- 
what less, or about 232 millions, but since that time the increase 
has been so rapid, that it is now returned at nearly 450 millions 
of dollars.* 

Twenty years since, the means of transporting produce through- 
out the country were so bad that famine might prevail in Anda- 
lusia, and men might perish there in thousands, while grain wasted 
on the fields of Castile, because the silos of the latter no longer 

* The exact amount given by M. Block is 2,19-1,269,000 francs, but he does 
not state in what year the return was made. 


afforded room to store it. Even now, u in some districts, it is a 
familiar fact, 

(t That the wine of one vintage has to be emptied, in waste, in order 
to fnrnish skins for the wine of the next — the difficulty and cost of 
transportation to market being such as utterly to preclude the pro- 
ducer from attempting a more profitable disposition of it. Staples of 
the most absolute and uniform necessity — wheat, for instance — are at 
prices absurdly different in different parts of the kingdom ; the prox- 
imity to market being such as to give them their current value in one 
quarter, while in another they are perhaps rotting in their places of 
deposite, without the hope of a demand. Until such a state of things 
shall have been cured, it will be useless to improve the soil, or stimu- 
late production in the secluded districts ; and of course every circum- 
stance which wears the promise of such cure must enter into the 
calculations of the future, and avail in them according to its proba- 
bilities." — Wallis, P. 328. 

^Ye see thus that here, as everywhere, the power to make roads 
is least where the necessity for them is greatest. Had the farmers 
of Castile a near market in which their wheat could be combined 
with the wool that is shorn in their immediate neighbourhood, 
they could export cloth, and that could travel even on bad roads. 
As it is, they have to export both wheat and wool, and on such 
roads, whereas if the artisan could, in accordance with the doc- 
trines of Adam Smith, everywhere take his place by the side of 
the ploughman and the shepherd; and if women and children 
could thus everywhere be enabled to find other employment than 
in field labour, towns would grow up, and men would become rich 
and strong, and roads could be made without difficulty. Even now, 
however, there is a rapidly increasing tendency toward the con- 
struction of railroads, and the completion and enlargement of 
canals, and not a doubt can be entertained that in a few years the 
modes of intercourse will be so improved as to put an end to the 
enormous differences in prices here observed.* Those differences 
are, however, precisely similar to those now regarded as desirable by 

* By an official document published in 1S49, it appears that while wheat sold 
in Barcelona and Tarragona (places of consumption) at an average of more than 
25 francs, the price at Segovia, in Old Castile, (a place of production,) not 
300 miles distant, was less than 10 francs for the same quantity. — L'Esjwgne 
en 1850, 131. 


English writers who find compensation for the loss of men, u in 
the great stimulus that our extensive emigration will give to every 
branch of the shipping interest." * The nearer the place of ex- 
change the fewer ships and seamen are needed, and the richer must 
grow the producer and the consumer, because the number of persons 
among whom the total product is to be divided is then the least. 

With increased power of association there is a steady improve- 
ment in the provision for education. Half a century since, the 
whole number of students at all the educational establishments in 
the kingdom was but 30,000,f and it had not materially varied in 
1835; whereas the number now in the public schools alone, for 
the support of which there is an annual appropriation of $750,000, 
is above 700,000, or one to 17 of the population. The primary and 
other schools reach the number of 16,000; and besides these and 
the universities, there are numerous other institutions devoted to 
particular branches of education, some of which are provided for 
by government, and others by public bodies or private subscrip- 
tion. u So impediment," says Mr. Wallis — 

" Is thrown by law in the way of private teachers — except that they 
are required to produce certain certificates of good character and con- 
duct, and of having gone through a prescribed course, which is more 
or less extensive, in proportion to the rank of the institution they may 
desire to open." 

As a necessary consequence of these changes there has been a 
great increase in the value of land, and of real estate generally. 
Mr. Wallis states that the church property has " commanded an 
average of nearly double the price at which it was officially assessed, 
according to the standard of value at the time of its seizure," and 
we need desire no better evidence that man is tending gradually 
toward freedom than is to be found in this single fact. 

It might be supposed, that with the increased tendency to con- 
vert at home the raw products of the earth, there would be a 
diminution of foreign commerce ; but directly the reverse is the 
case. In the three years, from 1846 to 1849, the import of raw 

* Xorth British Review, Nov. 1802, art. The Mocfetn Exodua. 
f SL de Jonnes. quoted by Mr. WalEs, p. 295. 


cotton rose from 16,000,000 to 27,000,000 of pounds; that of 
yarn from 5,200,000 to 6,800,000 pounds; and that of bar-iron 
from 5,400,000 to more than 8,000,000; and the general move- 
ments of exports and imports for the last twenty-four years, as 
given by M. Block, (p. 18,) has been as follows : — 

Imports, in francs. Exports, in francs. 

1827 95,235,000 71,912,000 

1843 114,325,000 82,279,000 

1846 157,513,000 129,106,000 

And to this may be added, as since published by the govern- 
ment, the account for 

1851 171,912,000 124,377,000 

TTith each step in the direction of bringing the consumer and 
the producer to take their places by the side of each other, the 
people acquire power to protect themselves, as is seen in the free- 
dom of debate in the Chamber of Deputies, and in the extent to 
which those debates, with their comments thereon, are made known 
throughout the kingdom by the writers of a newspaper press that, 
although restricted, has been well characterized as " fearless and 
plain speaking." In 1826, Madrid had but two daily newspapers, 
both of them most contemptible in character. In February, 1850, 
there were thirteen, with an aggregate circulation of 35,000 copies; 
and yet Madrid has no commerce, and can furnish little advertising 
for their support.* 

With the increase of production and of wealth, and with the 
growth of the power of association, and of intelligence among the 
people, the government gradually acquires strength in the com- 
munity of nations, and power to enforce its laws, as is here shown 
in the large decline that has taken place in the English exports to 
Portugal and Gibraltar, heretofore the great smuggling depots for 
English manufactures, f as compared with those to Spain direct : 

* "Wallis's Spain, chap. ix. 

j It is a striking evidence of the injurious moral effect produced by the system 
which looks to the conversion of all the other nations of the world into mere farmers 
and planters, that Mr. Macgregor, in his work of Commercial Statistics, says, in 


Portugal. Gibraltar. Spain. 

In 1339 £1/217,082 £1.433,932 £262/231 

1852 1,048,356 481/286 1,015,493 

The system that looks to consolidation of the land tends toward 
inequality, and that such has been, and is, the tendency of that of 
England, wherever fully carried out, has been shown. Those of 
Germany, Russia, and Denmark tend in the opposite direction, 
and under them men are becoming daily more independent in their 
action, and consequently more and more kindly and respectful in 
their treatment of each other. Such, likewise, is the case in Spain. 
" The Spaniard/' says Mr. Wallis — 

" Has a sense of equality, which blesses him who gives as well as 
him who takes. If he requires the concession from others, he demands 
it chiefly and emphatically through the concessions which he makes 
to them. There is so much self-respect involved in his respect to 
others, and in his manifestation of it, that reciprocity is unavoidable. 
To this, and this mainly, is attributable the high, courteous bearing, 
which is conspicuous in all the people, and which renders the personal 
intercourse of the respective classes and conditions less marked by 
strong and invidious distinctions, than in any other nation with whose 
manners and customs I am familiar. It is this, perhaps, more than 
any other circumstance, which has tempered and made sufferable the 
oppression of unequal and despotic institutions, illustrating 'the ad- 
vantage to which/ in the words of a philosophic writer, ' the manners 
of a people may turn the most unfavourable position and the worst 
laws/ "— P. 383. 

Again, he says — 

" If in the midst of the very kindness which made him at home upon 
the briefest acquaintance, he should perceive an attentive politeness, 
approaching so near to formality as now and then to embarrass him, 
he would soon be brought to understand and admire it as the expres- 
sion of habitual consideration for the feelings of others. He would 
value it the more when he learned from its universality, that what was 
elsewhere chiefly a thing of manners and education, was there a genial 
instinct developed into a social charity." — P. 207. 

The " popular element is fully at work/' and it requires, says the 
same author, but a comparison of the present with the past, " to 

speaking of the Methuen treaty, ° we do not deny that there were advantages 
in having a market for our woollens in Portugal, especially one, of which, if not 
the principal, was the means afforded of sending them afterward by contraband 
into Spain."— Vol. ii. 1122. 


remove all doubts of the present, and to justify the happiest 
augury." "The lotos of freedom has/' he continues — 

"Been tasted, and it cannot readily be stricken from their lips. So 
long as the more important guaranties are not altogether violated — so 
long as the government substantially dedicates itself to the public 
good, by originating and fostering schemes of public usefulness, it 
may take almost any liberties with forms and non-essentials. Much 
further it will not be permitted to go, and every day diminishes the 
facility with which it may go even thus far. Every work of internal 
improvement, which brings men closer together, enabling them to 
compare opinions with readiness and concentrate strength for their 
maintenance ; every new interest that is built up ; every heavy and 
permanent investment of capital or industry ; every movement that 
develops and diffuses the public intelligence and energy, is a bulwark 
more or less formidable against reaction. Nay, every circumstance 
that makes the public wiser, richer, or better, must shorten the career 
of arbitrary rule. The compulsion, which was and still is a necessary 
evil for the preservation of peace, must be withdrawn when peace 
becomes an instinct as well as a necessity. The existence of a strin- 
gent system will no longer be acquiesced in when the people shall 
have grown less in need of government, and better able to direct it for 
themselves. Thus, in their season, the very interests which shall be 
consolidated and made vigorous by forced tranquillity will rise, them- 
selves, into the mastery. The stream of power as it rolls peacefully 
along, is daily strengthening the 1 tanks, which every day, though im- 
perceptibly, encroach on it/ — P. 381. 


Belgium is a country with four and a half millions of inhabit- 
ants, or about one-half more than the State of New York. It is 
burdened with a heavy debt assumed at the period of its separation 
from Holland, and it finds itself compelled to maintain an army 
that is large in proportion to its population, because in the vicinity 
of neighbours who have at all times shown themselves ready to 
make it the battle-ground of Europe. In no country of Europe 
has there been so great a destruction of property and life, and yet 
in none has there been so great a tendency toward freedom ; and 
for the reason that in none has there been manifested so little dis- 
position to interfere with the affairs of other nations. It is burdened 
now with a taxation amounting to about twenty-three millions of 


dollars, or five dollars and a half per head j and yet, amid all the 
revolutions and attempts at revolution by which the peace of Europe 
is disturbed, we hear nothing of the Belgians, whose course is as 
tranquil as it was before the days of 1848 — and this is a conse- 
quence of following in the path indicated by Adam Smith. 

The policy of Belgium looks more homeward than that of any 
nation of Europe. She has no colonies, and she seeks none. To 
a greater extent than almost any other nation, she has sought to 
enable her farmers to have local places of exchange, giving value 
to her labour and her land. Where these exist, men are certain to 
become free; and equally certain is it that where they do not exist, 
freedom must be a plant of exceedingly slow growth, even where 
it does not absolutely perish for want of nourishment. If evidence 
be desired of the freedom of the Belgians, it is to be found in the 
fact that there is nowhere to be seen, as we are on all hands as- 
sured, a more contented, virtuous, and generally comfortable popu- 
lation than that engaged in the cultivation of her fields. The 
following sketch is from a report published by order of Parliament, 
and cannot fail to be read with interest by those who desire to un- 
derstand how it is that the dense population of this little country 
is enabled to draw from a soil naturally indifferent such large 
returns, while the Hindoo, with all his advantages of early civiliza- 
tion, wealth, and population, perishes of famine or flies from pes- 
tilence, leaving behind him, uncultivated, the richest soils, and 
sells himself to slavery in Cuba : — 

" The farms in Belgium rarely exceed one hundred acres. The 
number containing fifty acres is not great; those of thirty or twenty 
are more numerous, but the number of holdings of from five to ten and 
twenty acres is very considerable. 

" The small farms of from five to ten acres, which abound in many 
parts of Belgium, closely resemble the small holdings in Ireland ; but 
the small Irish cultivator exists in a state of miserable privation of 
the common comforts and conveniences of civilized life, while the Bel- 
gian peasant farmer enjoys a large share of those comforts. The 
houses of the small cultivators of Belgium are generally substantially 
built, and in good repair ; they have commonly a sleeping room in the 
attic, and closets for beds connected with the lower apartment, which 
is convenient in size ; a small cellarage for the dairy, and store for the 
grain, as well as an oven, and an outhouse for the potatoes, with a 
roomy cattle-stall, piggery, and poultry loft. The house generally con- 


tains decent furniture, the bedding sufficient in quantity, and an air of 
comfort pervades the establishment. In the cow-house the cattle are 
supplied with straw for bedding ; the dung and moisture are carefully 
collected in the tank ; the ditches had been secured to collect materials 
for manure ; the dry leaves, potato-tops, &c. had been collected in a 
moist ditch to undergo the process of fermentation, and heaps of com- 
post were in course of preparation. The premises were kept in neat 
and compact order, and a scrupulous attention to a most rigid economy 
was everywhere apparent. The family were decently clad ; none of 
them were ragged or slovenly, even when their dress consisted of the 
coarsest material. 

" In the greater part of the flat country of Belgium the soil is light 
and sandy, and easily worked ; but its productive powers are certainly 
inferior to the general soil of Ireland, and the climate does not appear 
to be superior. To the soil and climate, therefore, the Belgian does 
not owe his superiority. The difference is to be found in the system 
of cultivation, and the forethought of the people. The cultivation of 
small farms in Belgium differs from the Irish : 1. In the quantity of 
stall-fed stock which is kept, and by which a supply of manure is regu- 
larly secured ; 2. In the strict attention paid to the collection of ma- 
nure, which is skilfully husbanded ; 3. By the adoption of rotations 
of crop. "We found no plough, horse, or cart — only a spade, fork, 
wheelbarrow, and handbarrow. The farmer had no assistance besides 
that of his family. The whole land is trenched very deep with the 
spade. The stock consisted of a couple of cows, a calf or two, one or 
two pigs, sometimes a goat or two, and some poultry. The cows are 
altogether stall-fed, on straw, turnips, clover, rye, vetches, carrots, po- 
tatoes, and a kind of soup made by boiling up the potatoes, peas, beans, 
bran, cut-hay, &c, which, given warm, is said to be very wholesome, 
and promotive of the secretion of milk. Near distilleries and breweries 
grains are given. 

" Some small farmers agree to find stall-room and straw for sheep, 
and furnish fodder at the market price, for the dung. The dung and 
moisture are collected in a fosse in the stable. Lime is mingled with 
the scourings of the ditches, vegetable garbage, leaves, &c. On six- 
acre farms, plots are appropriated to potatoes, wheat, barley, clover, 
flax, rye, carrots, turnips, or parsnips, vetches, and rye, as green food 
for cattle. The flax is heckled and spun by the wife in winter ; and 
three weeks at the loom in spring weaves up all the thread. In some 
districts every size, from a quarter acre to six acres, is found. The 
former holders devoted their time to weaving. As far as I could learn, 
there was no tendency to subdivision of the small holdings. I heard 
of none under five acres held by the class of peasant farmers ; and six, 
seven, or eight acres is the more common size. The average rent is 
20s. an acre. Wages, lOd. a day. 

" A small occupier, whose farm we examined near Ghent, paid £9 
7s. 6c?. for six acres, with a comfortable house, stabling, and other 
offices attached, all very good of their kind — being 20s. an acre for the 
land, and £3 Is. 6d. for house and offices. This farmer had a wife and 
five children, and appeared to live in much comfort. He owed little 
or nothing." — Xicholls's Report. 



These people have employment for every hour in the year, and 
they find a market close at hand for every thing they can raise. 
They are not forced to confine themselves to cotton or sugar, to- 
bacco or wheat ; nor are they forced to waste their labour in carry- 
ing their products to a distance so great that no manure can be 
returned. From this country there is no export of men, women, 
and children, such as we see from Ireland. The " crowbar bri- 
gade" is here unknown, and it may be doubted if any term con- 
veying the meaning of the word " eviction" is to be found in their 
vocabulary. With a surface only one-third as great as that of Ire- 
land, and with a soil naturally far inferior, Belgium supports a popu- 
lation almost half as great as Ireland has ever possessed ; and yet 
we never hear of the cheap Belgian labour inundating the neigh- 
bouring countries, to the great advantage of those who desire to 
build up " great works" like those of Britain. The policy of 
Belgium looks to increasing the value of both labour and land, 
whereas that of England looks to diminishing the value of both. 

With every advantage of soil and climate, the population of 
Portugal declines, and her people become more enslaved from day 
to day, while her government is driven to repudiation of her debts. 
Belgium, on the contrary, grows in wealth and population, and 
her people become more free; and the cause of difference is, that 
the policy of the former has always looked to repelling the artisan, 
and thus preventing the growth of towns and of the habit of asso- 
ciation j while that of the latter has always looked to bringing the 
artisan to the raw material, and thus enabling her people to com- 
bine their efforts for their improvement in material, moral, and 
intellectual condition, without which there can be no increase of 

Russia and Spain seek to raise the value of labour and land, and 
they are now attracting population. The English system, based 
on cheap labour, destroys the value of both labour and land, and 
therefore it is that there is so large an export of men from the 
countries subject to it — Africa, India, Ireland, Scotland, England, 
Virginia, and Carolina. 




The slave must apply himself to such labour as his master may 
see fit to direct him to perform, and he must give to that master 
the produce of his exertions, receiving in return whatever the 
master may see fit to give him. He is limited to a single place of 

Precisely similar to this is the systen which looks to limiting 
all the people of the earth, outside of England, to agriculture as 
the sole means of employment; and carried out by " smothering in 
their infancy the manufactures of other nations," while crushing 
the older ones of India by compelling her to receive British manu- 
factures free of duty, and refusing to permit her to have good ma- 
chinery, while taxing her spindles and looms at home, and their 
products when sent to Britain. It is one which looks to allowing 
the nations of the world to have but one market, in which all are 
to compete for the sale of their raw products, and one market, in 
which all are to compete for the purchase of manufactured ones ; 
leaving to the few persons who control that market the power to 
fix the prices of all they require to buy and all they desire to sell. 
Cotton and corn, indigo and wool, sugar and coffee, are merely 
the various forms in which labour is sold ; and the cheaper they 
are sold, the cheaper must be the labour employed in producing 
them, the poorer and more enslaved must be the labourer, the less 
must be the value of land, the more rapid must be its exhaustion 
and abandonment, and the greater must be the tendency toward 
the transport of the enslaved labourer to some new field of action, 
there to repeat the work of exhaustion and abandonment. Hence 
it is that we see the slave trade prevail to so great an extent in all 
the countries subject to the British system, except those in which 
famine and pestilence are permitted silently to keep down the 
population to the level of a constantly diminishing supply of food, 


as in Portugal, Turkey, and Jamaica. The system to which the 
world is indebted for these results is called "free trade;" but 
there can be no freedom of trade where there is no freedom of 
man, for the first of all commodities to be exchanged is labour, 
and the freedom of man consists only in the exercise of the right 
to determine for himself in what manner his labour shall be 
employed, and how he will dispose of its products. If the British 
system tends toward freedom, proof of the fact will be found in 
the free employment of labour where it exists, and in the exercise 
by the labourer of a large control over the application of its pro- 
duce. Are these things to be found in India ? Certainly not. 
The labourer there is driven from the loom and forced to raise sugar 
or cotton, and his whole control over what is paid by the consumer 
for the products of his labour cannot exceed fifteen per cent. Can 
they be found in Ireland, in Turkey, or in Portugal ? Certainly 
not. The labourers of those countries now stand before the world 
distinguished for their poverty, and for their inability to determine 
for themselves for whom they will labour or what shall be their 
reward. "Were it otherwise, the " free trade" system would fail to 
produce the effect intended. Its object is, and has always been, that 
of preventing other communities from mining the coal or smelting 
the ore provided for their use by the great Creator of all things, and 
in such vast abundance ; from making or obtaining machinery to 
enable them to avail themselves of the expansive power of steam; 
from calling to their aid any of the natural agents required in the 
various processes of manufacture; from obtaining knowledge that 
might lead to improvement in manufactures of any kind; and, in 
short, from doing any thing but raise sugar, coffee, cotton, wool, 
indigo, silk, and other raw commodities, to be carried, as does 
the slave of Virginia or Texas with the product of his labour, to 
one great purchaser, who determines upon their value and upon 
the value of all the things they are to receive in exchange for 
them. It is the most gigantic system of slavery the world has yet 
seen, and therefore it is that freedom gradually disappears from 
every country over which England is enabled to obtain control, as 
witness the countries to which reference has just been made. 


There are, however, as has been shown, several nations of Europe 
in which men are daily becoming more free; and the reason for 
this is to be found in the fact that they have resisted this oppressive 
system. G-ermany and Kussia, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, and 
other states, have been determined to protect their farmers in 
their efforts to bring the loom and the anvil to their side, and to 
have towns and other places of exchange in their neighbourhood, 
at which they could exchange raw products for manufactured ones 
and for manure ; and in every one in which that protection has 
been efficient, labour and land have become, and are becoming, 
more valuable and man more free. 

In this country protection has always, to some extent, existed ; 
but at some times it has been efficient, and at others not; and our 
tendency toward freedom or slavery has always been in the direct 
ratio of its efficiency or inefficiency. In the period from 1824 to 
1833, the tendency was steadily in the former direction, but it was 
only in the latter part of it that it was made really efficient. Then 
mills and furnaces increased in number, and there was a steady 
increase in the tendency toward the establishment of local places 
of exchange ; and then it was that Virginia held her convention at 
which was last discussed in that State the question of emancipation. 
In 1833, however, protection was abandoned, and a tariff was esta- 
blished by which it was provided that we should, in a few years, 
have a system of merely revenue duties ; and from that date the 
abandonment of the older States proceeded with a rapidity never 
before known, and with it grew the domestic slave trade and the 
pro-slavery feeling. Then it was that were passed the laws restrict- 
ing emancipation and prohibiting education; and then it was that 
the export of slaves from Virginia and the Carolinas was so great 
that the population of those States remained almost, if not quite 
stationary, and that the growth of black population fell from thirty 
per cent., in the ten previous years, to twenty-four per cent." 
That large export of slaves resulted in a reduction of the price 
of Southern products to a point never before known; and thus it 

* In the first half of this period the export was small, whereas in the last one, 
1S35 to 1S40, it must have been in excess of the growth of population. 



was that the system called free trade provided cheap cotton. 
Slavery grew at the South and at the North ; for with cheap cot- 
ton and cheap food came so great a decline in the demand for 
labour, that thousands of men found themselves unable to purchase 
this cheap food to a sufficient extent to feed their wives and their 
children. A paper by "a farm labourer" thus describes that ca- 
lamitous portion of our history, when the rapid approach of the 
system called free trade, under the strictly revenue provisions of 
the Compromise Tariff, had annihilated competition for the pur- 
chase of labour : — 

" The years 1839, 1840, and 1841 were striking elucidations of such 
cases ; when the cry of sober, industrious, orderly men — ' Give me 
u'orJc! only give me work ; make tour owx terms — myself and family 
have nothing to eat' — was heard in our land. In those years thou- 
sands of cases of the kind occurred in our populous districts." — Pitts- 
burgh Dispatch. 

That such was the fact must be admitted by all who recollect 
the great distress that existed in 1841-2. Throughout the whole 
length and breadth of the land, there was an universal cry of 
" Give me work ; make your own terms — myself and family have 
nothing to eat;" and the consequence of this approach toward 
slavery was so great a diminution in the consumption of food, 
that the prices at which it was then exported to foreign countries 
were lower than they had been for many years ; and thus it was 
that the farmer paid for the system which had diminished the free- 
dom of the labourer and the artisan. 

It was this state of things that re-established protection for the 
American labourer, whether in the field or in the workshop. The 
tariff of 1842 was passed, and at once there arose competition for 
the purchase of labour. Mills were to be built, and men were 
needed to quarry the stone and get out the lumber, and other men 
were required to lay the stone and fashion the lumber into floors 
and roofs, doors and windows; and the employment thus afforded 
enabled vast numbers of men again to occupy houses of their own, 
and thus was produced a new demand for masons and carpenters, 
quarrymen and lumbermen. Furnaces were built, and mines were 
opened, and steam-engines were required; and the men employed 


at these works were enabled to consume more largely of food, while 
ceasing to contend with the agricultural labourer for employment 
on the farm. Mills were filled with females, and the demand for 
cloths increased, with corresponding diminution in the competition 
for employment in the making of shirts and coats. Wages rose, 
and they rose in every department of labour; the evidence of 
which is to be found in the fact that the consumption of food and 
fuel greatly increased, while that of cloth almost doubled, and that 
of iron trebled in the short period of five years. 

How, indeed, could it be otherwise than that the reward of 
labour should rise ? The cotton manufacturer needed labourers, 
male and female, and so did his neighbour of the woollens mill; and 
the labourers they now employed could buy shoes and hats. The 
iron-masters and the coal-miners needed workmen, and the men 
they employed needed cotton and woollen cloths ; and they could 
consume more largely of food. The farmer's markets tended to 
improve, and he could buy more largely of hats and shoes, ploughs 
and harrows, and the hatmakers and shoemakers, and the makers 
of ploughs and harrows, needed more hands; and therefore capital 
was everywhere looking for labour, where before labour had been 
looking for capital. The value of cottons, and woollens, and iron 
produced in 1846, as compared with that of 1842, was greater by 
a hundred millions of dollars ; and all this went to the payment 
of labour, for all the profits of the iron-master and of the cotton 
and woollen manufacturer went to the building of new mills and 
furnaces, or to the enlargement of the old ones. Unhappily, how- 
ever, for us, our legislators were smitten with a love of the system 
called free trade. They were of opinion that we were, by right, 
an agricultural nation, and that so we must continue ; and that the 
true way to produce competition for the purchase of labour was to 
resolve the whole nation into a body of farmers — and the tariff of 
1842 was repealed. 

If the reader will now turn to page 107, he will see how large 
must have been the domestic slave trade from 1835 to 1840, com- 
pared with that of the period from 1840 to 1845. The effect of 
this in increasing the crop and reducing the price of cotton was 


felt with great severity in the latter period,* and it required time 
to bring about a change. We are now moving in the same direc- 
tion in which we moved from 1835 to 1840. For four years past, 
we have not only abandoned the building of mills and furnaces, 
but have closed hundreds of old ones, and centralization, therefore, 
grows from day to day. The farmer of Ohio can no longer ex-* 
change his food directly with the maker of iron. He must carry 
it to New York, as must the producer of cotton in Carolina, who 
sees the neighbouring factory closed. "j" Local places of exchange 
decline, and great cities take their place j and with the growth of 
centralization grows the slave trade, North and South. Palaces 
rise in New York and Philadelphia, while droves of black slaves 
are sent to Texas to raise cotton, and white ones at the North perish 
of disease, and sometimes almost of famine. " We could tell," says 
a recent writer in one of the New York journals — 

"Of one room, twelve feet by twelve, in which were five resident 
families, comprising twenty persons of both sexes and all ages, with 
only two beds, without partition or screen, or chair or table, and all 
dependent for their miserable support upon the sale of chips, gleaned 
from the streets, at four cents a basket — of another, still smaller and 
still more destitute, inhabited by a man, a woman, two little girls, and 
a boy, who were supported by permitting the room 'to be used as a 
rendezvous by the abandoned women of the street — of another, an at- 
tic room seven feet by five, containing scarcely an article of furniture 
but a bed, on which lay a fine-looking man in a raging fever, without 
medicine or drink or suitable food, his toil-worn wife engaged in clean- 
ing dirt from the floor, and his little child asleep on a bundle of rags 
in the corner — of another of the same dimensions, in which we found, 
seated on low boxes around a candle placed on a keg, a woman and 
her oldest daughter, (the latter a girl of fifteen, and, as we were told, 
a prostitute,) sewing on shirts, for the making of ichich they were paid 
four cents apiece, and even at thai price, out of which they had to sup- 
port two small children, they could not get a supply of work — of another 
of about the same size occupied by a street rag-picker and his family, 

* From 1842 to 1845 the average crop was 2.250,000 bales, or half a million 
more than the average of the four previous years. From 1847 to 1850 the ave- 
rage was only 2,260.000 bales, and the price rose, which could not have been the 
case had,the slave trade been as brisk between 1840 and 1845 as it had been be- 
tween 1835 and 1840. 

•j- See page 108, ante, for the sale of the negroes of the Saluda Manufacturing 


the income of whose industry was eight dollars a month — of another, 
scarcely larger, into which we were drawn by the terrific screams of a 
drunken man beating his wife, containing no article of furniture what* 
eyer — another warmed only by a tin pail of lighted charcoal placed 
in the centre of the room, oyer which bent a blind man endeayouring 
to warm himself: around him three or four men and women swearing 
and quarrelling; in one corner on the floor a woman, who had died the 
day preyious of disease, and in another two or three children sleeping 
on a pile of rags ; (in regard to this room, we may say that its occu- 
pants were coloured people, and from them but a few days preyious 
had been taken and adopted by one of our benevolent citizens a beau- 
tiful little white girl, four or fiye years of age, whose father was dead 
and whose mother was at Blackwell's Island ;) another from which not 
long since twenty persons sick with feyer were taken to the hospital, 
and eyery individual of them died. But why extend the catalogue ? 
Or why attempt to convey to the imagination by words the hideous 
squalor and the deadly effluvia; the dim, undrained courts, oozing with 
pollution ; the dark narrow stairways decayed with age, reeking with 
tilth, and overrun with vermin ; the rotten floors, ceilings begrimed, 
crumbling, ofttimes too low to permit you to stand upright, and win- 
dows stuffed with rags ; or why try to portray the gaunt shivering 
forms and wild ghastly faces in these black and beetling abodes, 
wherein from cellar to garret 

' All life dies, death lives, and nature breeds 

Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, 
Abominable, unutterable !' " 

N. York Courier and Inquirer. 
Our shops are now everywhere filled with the products of the 
cheap labour of England — of the labour of those foreign women 
who make shirts at a penny apiece, finding the needles and the 
thread, and of those poor girls who spend a long day at making 
artificial flowers for which they receive two pence, and then eke 
out the earnings of labour by the wages of prostitution ; and our 
women are everywhere driven from employment — the further con- 
sequences of which may be seen in the following extract from an- 
other journal of the day : — 

" A gentleman who had been deputed to inquire into the condition 
of this class of operatives, found one of the most expert of them 
working from five o'clock in the morning until eleven at night, yet 
earning only about three dollars a week. Out of this, she had to pay 
a dollar and a half for board, leaving a similar amount for fuel, cloth- 
ing, and all other expenses. Her condition, however, as compared 
with that of her class generally, was one of opulence. The usual 
earnings were but two dollars a week, which, as respectable board 
could be had nowhere for less than a dollar and a half, left only fifty 
cents for everything else. The boarding-houses, even at this price, are 


of the poorest character, always noisome and unhealthy, and not un- 
frequently in vile neighbourhoods. With such positive and immediate 
evils to contend with, what wonder that so many needlewomen take 
' the wages of sin? 5 ;; 

" Among the cases brought to light in Xew York, was that of an 
intelligent and skilful dressmaker, who was found in the garret of a 
cheap boarding-house, out of work, and reduced to such straits that she 
had actually pawned every thing but her skirt and her under-garme?it, in 
order to procure bread. Nor are such instances unfrequent. The small 
remuneration which these workwomen receive keeps them living from 
hand to mouth, so that, in case of sickness, or scarcity of work, they 
are sometimes left literally without a crust." — Philada. Evening Bulletin. 

If females cannot tend looms, make flowers, or do any other of 
those things in which mind takes in a great degree the place of 
physical power, they must make shirts at four cents apiece, or re- 
sort to prostitution — or, they may work in the fields ; and this is 
nearly the latitude of choice allowed to them under the system 
called free trade. Every furnace that is closed in Pennsylvania by 
the operation of this system, lessens the value of labour in the neigh- 
bourhood, and drives out some portion of the people to endeavour 
to sell elsewhere their only commodity, labour. Some seek the 
cities and some go West to try their fortunes. So, too, with the 
closing of woollens mills in New York, and cotton mills in New 
England. Every such case compels people to leave their old 
homes and try to find new ones — and in this form the slave trade 
now exists at the North to a great extent. The more people thus 
driven to the cities, the cheaper is labour, and the more rapid is 
the growth of drunkenness and crime ; and these effects are 
clearly visible in the police reports of all our cities.* Centraliza- 

* The following passage from one of the journals of the day is worthy of care- 
ful perusal by those who desire to understand the working of the present system 
of revenue duties, under which the mills and furnaces of the country have to so 
great an extent been closed, and the farmers and planters of the country to so 
great an extent been driven to New York to make all their exchanges : — 

" Mr. Matsell [chief of police, Xew York] tells us that during the six months 
ending 31st December, 1852, there have been 19,901 persons arrested for various 
offences, giving a yearly figure of nearly 40,000 arrests. * * * The number of 
arrests being 40,000, or thereabouts, in a population of say 600,000, gives a per- 
centage of 6.0 on the whole number of inhabitants. We have no data to esti- 
mate the state of crime in Paris under the imperial regime ; but in London the 
returns of the metropolitan police for 1850, show 70,827 arrests, out of a popula- 


tion, poverty, and crime go always band in hand with each 


The closing of mills and furnaces in Maryland lessens the demand 

for labour there, and the smaller that demand the greater must be 

the necessity on the part of those who own slaves to sell them to 

go South j and here we find the counterpart of the state of things 

already described as existing in Xew York. The Virginian, limited 

to negroes as the only commodity into which he can manufacture his 

corn and thus enable it to travel cheaply to market, sends his crop 

to Richmond, and the following extract of a letter from that place 

shows how the system works : — 

" Richmond, March 3, 1853. 

" I saw several children sold ; the girls brought the highest price. 
Girls from 12 to 18 years old brought from $500 to $800. 

" I must say that the slaves did not display as much feeling as I had 
expected, as a general thing — but there was one noble exception — God 
bless her ! and save her, too ! ! as I hope he will in some way, for if 
he does not interpose, there were no men there that would. 

"She was a fine-looking woman about 25 years old, with three beauti- 
ful children. Her children as well as herself were neatly dressed. 
She attracted my attention at once on entering the room, and I took 
my stand near her to learn her answers to the various questions put 
to her by the traders. One of these traders asked her what was the 
matter with her eyes ? Wiping away the tears, she replied, ' I s'pose 
I have been crying/ ' Why do you cry V ' Because I have left my 
man behind, and his master won't let him come along/ ' Oh, if I buy 
you, I will furnish you with a better husband, or man, as you call him, 
than your old one.' 'I don't want any better and won't have any other 
as long as he lives.' 'Oh, but you will though, if I buy you.' 'No, 
massa, God helping me, I never will.' — Xeio York Tribune. 

At the Xorth, the poor girl driven out from the cotton or the 

woollens mill is forced to make shirts at four cents each, or sell 

herself to the horrible slavery of prostitution. At the South, this 

poor woman, driven out from Virginia, may perhaps at some time 

be found making one of the dramatis personse in scenes similar 

to those here described by Dr. Howe : — 

tion of some two millions and a half, giving a percentage of less than three on 
the whole number of inhabitants. Thus crimes are in New York rather more 
than twice as frequent as in London. Indeed, if we make proper allowance for 
the superior vigilance and organization of tbe metropolitan police of London, 
and for the notorious inefficiency of our own police force, we shall probably find 
that, in proportion to the population, there is in New York twice as much crime 
as in London. This is an appalling fact — a disgraceful disclosure." — Xew York 
Herald, March 21, 1853. 


"If Howard or Mrs. Fry ever discovered so ill-administered a den 
of thieves as the New Orleans prison, they never described it. In the 
negro's apartment I saw much which made me blush that I was a 
white man, and which for a moment stirred up an evil spirit in my 
animal nature. Entering a large paved court-yard, around which ran 
galleries filled with slaves of all ages, sexes, and colours, I heard the 
snap of a whip, every stroke of which sounded like the sharp crack 
of a pistol. I turned my head, and beheld a sight which absolutely 
chilled me to the marrow of my bones, and gave me, for the first time 
in my life, the sensation of my hair stiffening at the roots. There lay 
a black girl flat upon her face on a board, her two thumbs tied, and 
fastened to one end, her feet tied and drawn tightly to the other end, 
while a strap passed over the small of her back, and fastened around 
the board, compressed her closely to it. Below the strap she was en- 
tirely naked. By her side, and six feet off, stood a huge negro, with 
a long whip, which he applied with dreadful power and wonderful 
precision. Every stroke brought away a strip of skin, which clung to 
the lash, or fell quivering on the pavement, while the blood followed 
after it. The poor creature writhed and shrieked, and in a voice which 
showed alike her fear of death and her dreadful agony, screamed to 
her master who stood at her head, - Oh, spare my life ; don't cut my 
soul out !' But still fell the horrid lash ; still strip after strip pealed 
off from the skin ; gash after gash was cut in her living flesh, until it 
became a livid and bloody mass of raw and quivering muscle. 

" It was with the greatest difficulty I refrained from springing upon 
the torturer, and arresting his lash ; but alas, what could I do, but 
turn aside to hide my tears for the sufferer, and my blushes for hu- 
manity ! 

" This was in a public and regularly organized prison ; the punish- 
ment was one recognised and authorized by the law. Bat think you 
the poor wretch had committed a heinous offence, and had been con- 
victed thereof, and sentenced to the lash? Not at all! She was 
brought by her master to be whipped by the common executioner, 
without trial, judge, or jury, just at his beck or nod, for some real or 
supposed offence, or to gratify his own whim or malice. And he may 
bring her day after day, without cause assigned, and inflict any num- 
ber of lashes he pleases, short of twenty-five, provided only he pays 
the fee. Or if he choose, he may have a private whipping-board on 
his own premises, and brutalize himself there. 

"A shocking part of this horrid punishment was its publicity, as I 
have said ; it was in a court-yard, surrounded by galleries, which were 
filled with coloured persons of all sexes — runaway slaves committed 
for some crime, or slaves up for sale. You would naturally suppose 
they crowded forward and gazed horrow-stricken at the brutal specta- 
cle below ; but they did not ; many of them hardly noticed it, and 
many were entirely indifferent to it. They went on in their childish 
pursuits, and some were laughing outright in the distant parts of 
the galleries; — so low can man created in God's image be sunk in 

Where, however, lies the fault of all this? Cheap cotton can- 


not be supplied to the world unless the domestic slave trade be 
maintained, and all the measures of England are directed toward 
obtaining a cheap and abundant supply of that commodity, to give 
employment to that "cheap and abundant supply of labour" so 
much desired by the writers in the very journal that furnished to 
its readers this letter of Dr. Howe.* To produce this cheap cot- 
ton the American labourer must be expelled from his home in 
Virginia to the wilds of Arkansas, there to be placed, perhaps, 
nnder the control of a Simon Legree.~\ That he may be expelled, 
the price of corn must be cheapened in Virginia; and that it may 
be cheapened, the cheap labourer of Ireland must be brought to 
England there to compete with the Englishman for the reduction 
of labour to such a price as will enable England to " smother in 
their infancy" all attempts at manufacturing corn into anything but 
negroes for Arkansas. That done, should the Englishman's " blood 
boil" on reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, he is told to recollect that it is 
" to his advantage that the slave should be permitted to wear his 
chains in peace." And yet this system, which looks everywhere to 
the enslavement of man, is dignified by the name of " free 

The cheap-labour system of England produces the slave trade 
of America, India, and Ireland • and the manner in which it is en- 
abled to produce that effect, and the extent of its "advantage" to 
the people of England itself, is seen in the following extract from a 
speech delivered at a public meeting in that country but a few 
weeks since : — 

" The factory-law was so unblushingly violated that the chief in- 
spector of that part of the factory district, Mr. Leonard Horner, had 
found himself necessitated to write to the Home Secretary, to say that 
he dared not, and would not send any of his sub-inspectors into cer- 
tain districts until he had police protection. * * * And protection 
against whom ? Against the factory-masters ! Against the richest 
men in the district, against the most influential men in the district, 
against the magistrates of the district, against the men who hold her 
Majesty's commission, against the men who sat in the Petty Sessions 
as the representatives of royalty. * * * And did the masters 

* North British Review, Nov. 1852. f See Uncle Tom's Cabin, chap. xxxi. 



suffer for their violation of the law? In his own district it was a 
settled custom of the male, and to a great extent of the female work- 
ers in factories, to be in bed from 9, 10 or 11 o'clock on Sunday, be- 
^ cause they were tired out by the labour of the week. Sunday was the 
only day on which they could rest their wearied frames. * * It 
would generally be found that, the longer the time of work, the smaller 
the wages. * * He would rather he a slam in South Carolina, than 
a factory operative in England." — Speech of Rev. Dr. Bramwell, at 

The whole profit, we are told, results from " the last hour," and 
were that hour taken from the master, then the people of Virginia 
might be enabled to make their own cloth and iron, and labour might 
there become so valuable that slaves would cease to be exported to 
Texas, and cotton must then rise in price; and in order to prevent 
the occurrence of such unhappy events, the great cotton manufac- 
turers set at defiance the law of the land ! The longer the work- 
ing hours the more " cheap and abundant" will be the "supply of 
labour," — and it is only by aid of this cheap, or slave, labour that, 
as we are told, " the supremacy of England in manufactures can 
be maintained." The cheaper the labour, the more rapid must be 
the growth of individual fortunes, and the more perfect the con- 
consolidation of the land. Extremes thus always meet. The 
more splendid the palace of the trader, whether in cloth, cotton, 
negroes, or Hindoos, the more squalid will be the poverty of 
the labourer, his wife and children, — and the more numerous 
the diamonds on the coat of Prince Esterhazy, the more ragged 
will be his serfs. The more that local places of exchange are 
closed, the greater will be the tendency to the exhaustion and 
abandonment of the land, and the more flourishing will be the 
slave trade, North and South, — and the greater will be the growth 
of pro-slavery at the South, and anti-slavery at the North. The 
larger the export of negroes to the South, the greater will be their 
tendency to run from their masters to the North, and the greater 
will be the desire at the North to shut them out, as is proved by 
the following law of Illinois, now but a few weeks old, by which 
negro slavery is, as is here seen, re-established in the territory for 
the government of which was passed the celebrated ordinance of 


"Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the 
General Assembly. 

I 3. If any negro or mulatto, bond or free, shall come into this 
State, and remain ten days, with the evident intention of residing in 
the same, every such negro or mulatto shall be deemed guilty of a 
high misdemeanour, and for the first offence shall be fined the sum of 
fifty dollars, to be recovered before any justice of the peace, in the 
county where said negro or mulatto may be found; said proceeding 
shall be in the name of the people of the State of Illinois, and shall be 
tried by a jury of twelve men. 

$ 4. If said negro or mulatto shall be found guilty, and the fine 
assessed be not paid forthwith to the justice of the peace before whom 
said proceedings were had, said justice shall forthwith advertise said 
negro or mulatto, by posting up notices thereof in at least three of the 
most public places in his district, which said notices shall be posted 
up for ten days : and on the day, and at the time and place men- 
tioned in said advertisement, the said justice shall at public auction 
proceed to sell said negro or mulatto to any person who will pay 
said fine and costs." 

Slavery now travels North, whereas only twenty years ago free- 
dom was travelling South. That such is the case is the natural 
consequence of our submission, even in part, to the system that 
looks to compelling the export of raw products, the exhaustion of 
the land, the cheapening of labour, and the export of the labourer. 
Wherever it is submitted to, slavery grows. Wherever it is re- 
sisted, slavery dies away, and freedom grows, as is shown in the 
following list of — 

Countries whose policy looks to Countries whose policy looks to 

cheapening labour. raising the value of labour. 

The "West Indies, Northern Germany, 

Portugal, Russia, 

Turkey, Denmark, 

India, Spain, 

Ireland, Belgium, 
United States under the Compro- United States under the 
mise and the tariff of 1846. tariffs of 1828 and 1842. 

Population declines in all the foreign countries in the first co- 
lumn, and it became almost stationary in the Northern Slave States, 
as it is now likely again to do, because of the large extent of the 
domestic slave trade. Population grows in the foreign countries 


of the second column, and it grew rapidly in the Northern Slave 
States, because of the limited export of negroes at the periods re- 
ferred to. The first column gives the — so-called — free-trade coun- 
tries, and the other those which have protected themselves against 
the system ; and yet slavery grows in all those of the first column, 
and freedom in all those of the second. The first column gives us 
the countries in which education diminishes and intellect declines, 
and the period in our own history in which were passed the laws 
prohibiting the education of negroes. The second, those countries 
in which education advances, with great increase of intellectual 
activity; and in our own history it gives the period at which the 
Northern Slave States held conventions having in view the adoption 
of measures looking to the abolition of slavery. The first gives 
those foreign countries in which women and children must labour 
in the field or remain unemployed. The second those in which 
there is a daily increasing demand for the labour of women, to be 
employed in the lighter labour of manufactures. The first gives those 
in which civilization advances; and the second those in which there 
is a daily increasing tendency toward utter barbarism. We are 
now frequently invited to an alliance with Great Britain, and for 
what ? For maintaining and extending the system whose effects 
are found in all the nations enumerated in the first column. For 
increasing the supply of cheap cotton, cheap corn, and cheap sugar, 
all of which require cheap, or slave, labour, and in return for these 
things we are to have cheap cloth, the produce of the cheap, or 
slave, labour of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 

It is as the advocate of freedom that Britain calls upon us to 
enter into more intimate relations with her. Her opponents are, 
as we are told, the despots of Europe, the men who are trampling 
on the rights of their subjects, and who are jealous of her because 
her every movement looks, as we are assured, to the establishment 
of freedom throughout the world. Were this so, it might furnish 
some reason for forgetting the advice of Washington in regard to 
" entangling alliances j" but, before adopting such a course, it 
would be proper to have evidence that the policy of Britain, at any 
time since the days of Adam Smith, has tended to the enfranchise- 


ment of man in any part of the world, abroad or at home. Of all 
the despots now complained of, the King of Naples stands most 
conspicuous, and it is in relation to him that a pamphlet has re- 
cently been published by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
in which are found the following passages : — 

" The general belief is, that the prisoners for political offences in 
the kingdom of the Two Sicilies are between fifteen or twenty and 
thirty thousand. The government withholds all means of accurate in- 
formation, and accordingly there can be no certainty on the point. I 
have, however, found that this belief is shared by persons the most in- 
telligent, considerate, and well informed. It is also supported by what 
is known of the astonishing crowds confined in particular prisons, and 
especially by what is accurately known in particular provincial locali- 
ties, as to the numbers of individuals missing from among the com- 
munity. I have heard these numbers, for example, at Reggio and at 
Salerno : and from an effort to estimate them in reference to popula- 
tion, I do believe that twenty thousand is no unreasonable estimate. 
In Naples alone some hundreds are at this moment under indictment 
capitally ; and when I quitted it a trial was expected to come on im- 
mediately, (called that of the fifteenth of May,) in which the number 
charged was between four and five hundred ; including (though this is 
a digression) at least one or more persons of high station whose 
opinions would in this country be considered more conservative than 
your own." * * * "In utter defiance of this law, the government, 
of which the Prefect of Police is an important member, through the 
agents of that department, watches and dogs the people, pays domici- 
liary visits, very commonly at night, ransacks houses, seizing papers 
and effects, and tearing up floors at pleasure under pretence of search- 
ing for arms, and imprisons men by the score, by the hundred, by the 
thousand, without any warrant whatever, sometimes without even any 
written authority at all, or any thing beyond the word of a policeman ; 
constantly without any statement whatever of the nature of the offence. 

" Nor is this last fact wonderful. Men are arrested, not because 
they have committed, or are believed to have committed, any offence ; 
but because they are persons whom it is thought convenient to confine 
and to get rid of, and against whom, therefore, some charge must be 
found or fabricated."* 

Why is it that the king is enabled to do these things ? Obviousl} T , 
because his people are poor and weak. If they were strong, he could 
not do them. Men, however, never have anywhere become strong 
to resist power, except where the artisan has come to the side of 
the farmer ; and it is because he has not done so in Naples and 

* Letters to Lord Aberdeen, by the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, 9, 10, 12. 



Sicily that the people are so poor, ignorant, and weak as we see 
them to be. Has England ever endeavoured to strengthen the 
Neapolitan people by teaching them how to combine their efforts 
for the working of their rich ores, or for the conversion of their 
wool into cloth ? Assuredly not. She desires that wool and sul- 
phur, and all other raw. materials, may be cheap, and that iron 
may be dear; and, that they may be so, she does all that is in her 
power to prevent the existence in that country of any of that diver- 
sification of interests that would find employment for men, 
women, and children, and would thus give value to labour and 
land. That she may do this, she retains Malta and the Ionian 
Islands, as convenient places of resort for the great reformer of the 
age — the smuggler — whose business it is to see that no effort at 
manufactures shall succeed, and to carry into practical effect the 
decree that all such attempts must be " smothered in their infancy." 
If, under these circumstances, King Ferdinand is enabled to play 
the tyrant, upon whom rests the blame ? Assuredly, on the peo- 
ple who refuse to permit the farmers of the Two Sicilies to 
strengthen themselves by forming that natural alliance between 
the loom and the plough to which the people of England were 
themselves indebted for their liberties. Were the towns of that 
country growing in size, and were the artisan everywhere taking 
his place by the side of the farmer, the people would be daily be- 
coming stronger and more free, whereas they are now becoming 
weaker and more enslaved. 

So, too, we are told of the tyranny and bad faith prevailing in 
Spain. If, however, the people of that country are poor and weak, 
and compelled to submit to measures that are tyrannical and inju- 
rious, may it not be traced to the fact that the mechanic has never 
been permitted to place himself among them ? And may not the 
cause of this be found in the fact that Portugal and Gibraltar have 
for a century past been the seats of a vast contraband trade, hav- 
ing for its express object to deprive the Spanish people of all power 
to do any thing but cultivate the soil ? Who, then, are responsible 
for the subjection of the Spanish people ? Those, assuredly, whose 
policy looks to depriving the women and children of Spain of all 


employment except in the field, in order that wool may be cheap 
and that cloth may be dear. 

Turkey is poor and weak, and we hear much of the designs of 
Russia, to be counteracted by England ; but does England desire 
that Turkey shall grow strong and her people become free ? Does 
she desire that manufactures shall rise, that towns shall grow, and 
that the land shall acquire value ? Assuredly not. The right 
to inundate that country with merchandise is " a golden privilege" 
never to be abandoned, because it would raise the price of silk and 
lower the price of silk goods. 

The people of Austria and Hungary are weak, but has England 
ever tried to render them strong to obtain their freedom ? Would 
she not now oppose any measures calculated to enable the Hunga- 
rians to obtain the means of converting their food and their wool 
into cloth — to obtain mechanics and machinery, by aid of which 
towns could grow, and their occupants become strong and free ? 
To render any aid of that kind would be in opposition to the doc- 
trine of cheap food and cheap labour. 

Northern Germany is becoming strong and united, and the day 
is now at hand when all Germany will have the same system under 
which the North has so much improved j but these things are done 
in opposition to England, who disapproves of them because they 
tend to raise the price of the raw products of the earth and lower 
that of manufactured ones, and to enable the agricultural population 
to grow rich and strong; and the more exclusively she depends on 
trade, the greater is her indisposition to permit the adoption of any 
measures tending to limit her power over the people of the world. 

The people of China are weak, but does the consumption of 
opium to the extent of forty millions of dollars a year tend to 
strengthen them ? The government, too, is weak, and therefore is 
Hong Kong kept for the purpose of enabling "the great reformer" 
to evade the laws against the importation of a commodity that 
yields the East India Company a profit of sixteen millions of dol- 
lars a year, and the consumption of which is so rapidly increasing. 

Burmah, too, is weak, and therefore is her territory to be used 
for the purpose of extending the trade in opium throughout the 


interior provinces of China. Will this tend to strengthen, or to 
free, the Chinese people ? 

Can the people of this country become parties to a system like 
this — one that looks to cheapening labour everywhere ? Can they 
be parties to any system that can be maintained only on the con- 
dition of " an abundant and cheap supply of labour V Or, can 
they be parties to an alliance that, wherever it is found, so far 
cheapens man as to render him a profitable article for the export 
trade ? 

"Who, then, are our natural allies? Russia, Prussia, and Den- 
mark are despotisms, we are told. They are so ; but yet so beau- 
tiful and so perfect is the harmony of interests under a natural 
system, that that which despots do in their own defence strengthens 
the people, and carries them on toward freedom. Denmark is a 
despotism, and yet her people are the freeest and most happy of 
any in Europe. It is time that we emancipated ourselves from 
" the tyranny of words"* under which we live, and looked to 
things. England has what is called a free government, and yet 
Ireland, the West Indies, and India have been prostrated under 
the despotism of the spindle and loom, while despotic Denmark 
protects her people against that tyranny, and thus enables her wo- 
men and her children to find other employments than those of the 
field. The King of Prussia desires to strengthen himself against 
France, Austria, and Russia ; and, to do this, he strengthens his 
people by enabling them to find employment for all their time, to 
find manure for their farms, and to find employment for their 
minds ; and he strengthens Germany by the formation of a great 
Union, that gives to thirty millions of people the same advantage of 
freedom of internal trade that subsists among ourselves. The Em- 
peror of Russia desires to strengthen himself, and he, in like man- 
ner, adopts measures leading to the building of towns, the diversi- 
fication of labour, and the habit of association among men ; and 
thus does he give value to land and labour. He is a despot, it is 
true, but he is doing what is required to give freedom to sixty 

* Rev. Sidney Smith. 


millions of people j while all the measures of England in India 
tend to the enslavement of a hundred millions. T\ T e are told of his 
designs upon Turkey — but what have the people of that country to 
lose by incorporation within the Russian Empire ? Now, they are 
poor and enslaved, but were they once Russian the spindle would 
be brought to the wool, towns would cease to decline, labour 
and land would acquire value, and the people would begin to be- 
come free. It may be doubted if any thing would so much 
tend to advance the cause of freedom in Europe as the absorption 
of Turkey by Russia, for it would probably be followed by the 
adoption of measures that would secure perfect freedom of trade 
throughout all Middle and Eastern Europe, with large increase in 
the value of man.